Driver banned after pursuit

A DRINK driver led police on a car chase through Hartlepool streets before he jumped from the vehicle and tried to escape.

The pursuit started as Kevin Michael Potts overtook a police car on Stockton Street, Hartlepool, and was “staggering” across the white lines in the road, justices were told.

Officers activated their blue lights to signal for the 28-year-old to stop but he failed to do so and took off up Rossmere Way.

He then turned left into Balmoral Road, right into Callandar Road, then into Catcote Road, Owton Manor Lane and Inchcape Road before he abandoned the vehicle in Islay Grove.

He was spotted getting out of the car and was caught a short time later in Irvine Road. He was tested for alcohol and was found to have 62 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Prosecuting, Lilian Atkinson told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court: “It was 4.40am when police on mobile patrol in Stockton Road saw a red Nissan Primera car overtake them and stagger about the white lines on the carriageway.

“The officers illuminated their blue lights, however, the vehicle failed to stop and continued to travel up Rossmere Way, and through several streets before being seen in Islay Grove where the vehicle had been abandoned.

“The defendant was seen to get out of the driver side of the car and another man out of the passenger side.

“Officers chased after the defendant and caught him on Irvine Road.”

She added: “He was arrested and was found to be over the limit. He told police, ‘it’s my fault, I only went to the shop. I’ll lose my job because of this, there’s no excuse’.”

Potts, of Lister Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to drink driving and failing to stop when directed to do so by a police officer, on April 7.

He represented himself in court and told magistrates: “It was a very silly mistake. I’ve never done anything like this before. I do regret it, it’s going to cost me a lot and it really has made me learn a lesson, that’s for certain.”

Chairman of the bench Janet Henderson banned him from driving for 12 months, fined him £300, ordered him to pay £85 costs and pay a £15 victim surcharge.