Driver who sped through Hartlepool streets at 70mph “lucky he didn’t kill someone”

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A DANGER driver who has never held a licence was told he was lucky he did not kill somebody after he sped through the streets of Hartlepool at 70mph during a police chase

Michael Williams, who was already disqualified, roared off from police when they became suspicious of the Vauxhall Astra he was driving and ordered him to pull over.

But the 23-year-old, who has never held a licence, led them on a three-mile chase through the Owton Manor and the Fens neighbourhoods at speeds of between 50mph and 70mph.

During the pursuit he ran a red light, narrowly missed another car and bounced over speed humps.

Jailing Williams for 23 months, a judge said he could have killed an innocent child.

It was his sixth offence of driving while disqualified, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Police tried to stop Williams at around noon on March 12 in Truro Drive after a check on the car’s insurance showed it was not in the same name as the registered keeper.

Rachel Masters prosecuting said: “The police sergeant activated the vehicle’s blue lights giving a clear indication to the vehicle to stop, however, it failed to do so.”

He sped off on to Catcote Road before weaving in and out of numerous streets before abandoning the car off Newark Road on the Fens where he was caught.

Miss Masters added: “The speed limit for all the roads the defendant was 30mph, with the top speed recorded being 70mph.”

Williams, of Eddleston Walk, Hartlepool, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, having no insurance and failing to stop for police.

Jim Withyman, mitigating, said he accepted it was inevitable he was going to prison.

“He is very much kicking himself for not taking previous opportunities offered to him,” said Mr Withyman.

“He realises somebody could have stepped out in the road. He has said to me ‘I have got to stop this stupidity.’”

Williams record is littered with driving offences including aggravated vehicle taking and taking cars without consent.

Judge John Walford said: “As you seem to realise now, you were lucky you didn’t kill someone driving at those sort of speeds through residential areas.

“A child could have stepped off the pavement, a mother with a pram or whatever.

“You have a dreadful record when it comes to cars.

“I would be utterly failing in my duty if I wasn’t to send you to prison.”