Driver gets ban after A19 chase

A ROGUE driver sparked a high-speed chase that even involved the force helicopter after pulling out in front of a police car.

Officers chasing Darren Hamilton around residential streets called off their pursuit after deeming it to be too dangerous, before the force helicopter was called to keep an eye on his antics as he raced along the A19.

Teesside Crown Court heard Hamilton, 24, led police on a high-speed chase up the A19 that came to an end on the A689 on the outskirts of Hartlepool.

He was driving an uninsured VW Passat when he suddenly pulled out in front of a police car on an emergency call in Stockton, which sparked the chase.

He drove at 50mph in a 30mph residential area, speeding past entrances to the University Hospital of North Tees and swerved in front of three cars at a roundabout.

Police eventually decided it was unsafe for them to continue the chase and he was followed by the Cleveland Police helicopter.

The crew arranged for a convoy of police cars to block his exit when he came off the A19 at the A689 Wolviston turn off.

Hamilton was arrested and when asked if he thought he had been driving dangerously he replied: “Fair dos, because I was going at a high speed,” the court heard.

He admitted dangerous driving and having no insurance on October 10 last year.

Rachel Dyson, mitigating, said Hamilton had bought the car intending to sell it for a profit and drove off because he was uninsured.

The judge, Recorder Eric Elliott, said that the offence was sufficiently serious to justify a sentence of imprisonment.

Hamilton, of North Park, Billingham, was given a six month jail sentence that was suspended for 12 months.

He was also given 100-hours unpaid work, disqualified from driving for 12 months, and ordered to pay £420 costs.