[Dangerous Driving]Dangerous driver took police on high-speed chase through Ashington – hitting 80mph on 30mph roads

2021-07-09 13:44:30

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  This dangerous driver has been locked up for taking police on a high-speed chase in Northumberland.

  Sean Coleman, who already had a number of dangerous driving convictions and was banned from the roads, got behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf in April last year and was involved in a 20-minute police chase in Ashington.

  He reached speeds of 90mph and at one point was doing 80mph in a 30mph area. He also went the wrong way round a roundabout.

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  A police vehicle followed him to try and stop him but at one point Coleman drove towards the car head-on, forcing the officer to swerve out of the way to avoid a crash.

  Coleman finally stopped in Salisbury Close, Ashington, and was arrested in the back garden of a house.

  The 30-year-old, of no fixed abode, has now been sentenced to 20 months in prison after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified, failing to stop for police, having no insurance and failing to provide a blood sample.

  At Newcastle Crown Court, it was said that Coleman already had a lengthy record for driving offences, some of them earning him a spell behind bars. His convictions included dangerous driving in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

  But he decided to get behind the wheel of a car yet again on the evening of April 18 last year.

  Prosecutor Ashleigh Metcalfe said a police officer spotted him in the Volkswagen Golf in the Ashington area at around 10.15pm and followed him with sirens and emergency lights on.

  The defendant took off at speed and went round the North Seaton roundabout, crossed the River Wansbeck and went towards a mini-roundabout, where he failed to slow down.

  During the pursuit, he reached 90mph, hit 80mph in a 30mph area and drove the wrong way around a roundabout.

  At one point, the officer lost sight of the defendant's car.

  But then, Coleman drove head-on towards the officer, causing him “to take evasive action to avoid a high-speed collision with the defendant”.

  Newcastle Crown Court

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  A police helicopter was also called to help track Coleman, who stopped on Salisbury Close and was arrested in a back garden.

  When he was being arrested, he swallowed some drugs and bit an officer's fingers, the court heard.

  And he also refused to provide a blood sample for analysis.

  Vic Laffey, defending, said Coleman had mental health difficulties as well as problems with drugs.

  ”He has had the good sense to plead guilty,” he added.

  Handing out the 20-month jail sentence, Mr Recorder Andrew Smith said the defendant had put others in danger.

  He told Coleman: “It's just a matter of good luck that nobody else came into collision with you. You made no effort to bring this chase to an end.

  ”You were disqualified from driving at the time. From the moment you got into the car, you knew you were committing offences.

  ”It was a high-speed police pursuit putting the public in danger.”

  Coleman was also banned from driving for three years and 10 months.

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