Hartlepool drug driver spared jail after keeping to court promise

A drugged up driver who sparked a dangerous late night police pursuit has been spared prison after keeping out of trouble for six months.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 4:45 am

Lewis McAllister, 27, was found to have taken cocaine and cannabis after driving a Peugeot car in a reckless manner in Hartlepool in April of last year.

He also lashed out at police when they tried to arrest him, causing a minor injury to an officer’s arm.

McAllister appeared at Teesside Crown Court to learn his fate in March.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

But the judge deferred passing sentence for six months to see if he could stay out of trouble.

He returned to court this week where it was heard he had.

Describing the offences which happened just after midnight on April 11 last year, prosecutor Paul Reid said police noticed McAllister driving the Peugeot without lights on the A689 dual carriageway.

Sparks were coming from the exhaust.

Police followed him and saw McAllister mount kerbs and narrowly avoid parked cars before driving slowly over a playing area.

Mr Reid said: “The vehicle stalled. The defendant was trying to restart it when police used their baton to smash the window and grab the keys.

"The officer detected a strong smell of cannabis. There were three passengers inside.

"He had to be restrained and forced into the cage in the back of the police van.”

During the struggle, McAllister pulled the officer’s hand towards the cage causing him to scrape is arm.

McAllister pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, drug driving, having no insurance or licence and assaulting a police officer.

He has similar convictions on his record.

Stephen Constantine, defending, said in mitigation that McAllister had moved away from people he used to mix with and kept his promise to the court.

Mr Constantine said: “I can’t do any better than his own words to me that it’s taken him 27 years to get his head round the fact that this is how he should behave.”

Recorder Chris Smith told McAllister, of Blackhills Road, Peterlee: “Ordinarily this would be custody, immediate custody for someone of your record.”

But Recorder Smith said because McAllister had kept out of trouble and because of his personal circumstances he could impose an 18-month community order.

He is banned from driving until January 2024 and he passes an extended test.

Read More

Read More
Why a Hartlepool heroin offender was spared jail as judge takes 'exceptional' ap...

Support your Mail and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest on Pools and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

The Hartlepool Mail has been in town since 1877, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe.