Why motorist who rode at 77mph through 30mph Hartlepool streets avoided prison
A motorcyclist has narrowly avoided jail after sparking a lengthy police chase when he sped through residential streets at more than 70 miles an hour.
Luke Cartridge, 29, jumped several red lights and mounted a pathway during the pursuit around Dyke House and West View in Hartlepool in March this year.
A court heard he panicked and failed to stop for police despite the fact that the off-road motorbike was registered and insured and that he and his passenger were both wearing helmets.
Police thought Cartridge was trying to make off from them in Challoner Road at about 5pm on March 2 and switched on their blue light and sirens.
Ashleigh Leach, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court: “The motorcycle accelerated away failing to stop reaching around 70 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour area.
"The defendant continued driving at speeds of between 66 and 77 miles per hour in 30 mile per hour zones, passing through numerous red traffic signals and eventually going off road onto a grassed area towards Deerpool Close.”
Two more officers joined in the chase. At one point Cartridge mounted a pathway to aid his escape away, but eventually stopped himself on Rosthwaite Close.
Alcohol and drug tests were negative. He told police he simply panicked.
He has previous convictions for drink driving in 2010 and driving whilst disqualified in 2011.
Helen Towers, defending, said they were a long time ago now, adding: “It’s fortunate, of course, no one was injured and there was no damage done to any public or private property.”
She added other people would suffer if Cartridge, who admitted dangerous driving, was sent to prison, including his young family and an employee of his new business.
Passing a suspended sentence, Judge Chris Smith told him: “I don’t like dangerous drivers but I’m prepared in your case to give you a chance because you have caring responsibilities and you seem to have made a go of your business.”
Cartridge, of Pine Grove, Hartlepool, was received a 10-month prison sentence, which was suspended for 18 months, and disqualified for 18 months.
He must also complete 150 hours of unpaid work and attend a Thinking Skills programme.