Driver almost caused crash after police chase through Hartlepool streets

A danger driver almost caused a serious accident after leading police on a high speed chase through residential streets.

Monday, 4th July 2016, 3:12 pm
Updated Monday, 4th July 2016, 4:17 pm
Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

Michael Anthony Gales reached speeds of up to 60mph in 30mph areas and nearly caused a crash by going through a red light in an effort to avoid the law, a court heard.

Prosecutor David Lee told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court the 27-year-old had showed a “blatant disregard” for other road users.

He said the chase began at around 9.20pm on April 3 when a police officer on duty noticed Gales, who was in a silver Ford Focus, cut across Stockton Road at the Brenda Road junction.

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Mr Lee said: “As the vehicle approached the officer, the driver completed an erratic turn cutting across the junction in front of the officer on Stockton Road.

“Because of the erratic manoeuvre he attempted to follow. The vehicle immediately increased speed as the officer attempted to catch up illuminating his blue light and siren.

“During the course of this the officer reported reaching speeds of up to 60mph in residential built up streets with a 30mph limit.”

Gales pleaded guilty to dangerous driving in roads including Stratford Road, Oxford Road, Beachfield Drive, Caledonian Road, Queensland Road, Ormesby Road and Newholm Court which features sheltered housing.

Mr Lee added that Gales made no attempt to slow down at a mini roundabout, going over it at around 50mph “putting all road users at risk of harm”.

The prosecutor said Gales also drove past queuing traffic on the A689 and through a red light nearly causing a crash.

Mr Lee added: “This was a lengthy police chase, blatantly disregarding other road users and very nearly caused a serious accident.”

Gales, of Ilkley Grove, Hartlepool, also admitted having no insurance and licence on the same date.

Magistrates sent the case to the higher crown court to be dealt with as they felt their powers, of up to 12 months prison or £5,000 fine, may not be sufficient.

Pat Hutchison, chair of the court bench, said: “This matter is going to be sent to the crown court for sentencing.

“You will be advised of the date and time of that exercise.”

Gales was granted unconditional bail.