A banned driver who caused a road smash in his girlfriend’s car before trying to pin the blame for the shunt on her has been spared jail.
Michael Errington was serving a four-year driving disqualification - handed out for his second drink-drive offence - when he collided with another car while on a desperate early morning dash to work.
Magistrates heard the 31-year-old sped off from the scene after the crash but the victim drove off in pursuit and soon caught up with the fleeing offender.
When Errington finally pulled over he refused to give his details to the aggrieved motorist - telling him it was his partner’s car and he would say that she had been behind the wheel.
Errington, of Myrtle Avenue, Whitburn, admitted driving while disqualified, failing to stop after a road accident, failing to report the accident and driving without third party insurance when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard that Errington had been banned from the roads for driving with excess alcohol in 2008 and was slapped with a four-year ban in June 2013 for the same offence.
Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said; “Lee Wood was driving a Honda Civic on Whiteless Way on Sunday, January 31 when he collided with the Audi A4 driven by Errington.
“He said the Audi pulled in front of him and even though he applied the brakes hard he couldn’t stop the collision.
“Errington made no attempt to stop the vehicle but Mr Wood followed. When he pulled over he refused to give his details and said it was his girlfriend’s car and we will say she was driving.”
Jenny Coxon, defending, said: “He apologises wholeheartedly to the court for his behaviour that day. He was going to be late for work and took his partner’s car.
Errington was given an eight-week jail sentence - suspended for 18 months - and a 21-month road ban.
He was also ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to Mr Wood for the damage to his car, £85 prosecution costs and an £80 victim surcharge.