South Shields driver jailed after police chase

South Tyneside Magistrates' Court
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court

A driver who sparked a police chase by mistake, has been jailed.

Andrew Wallace took to the roads while under the influence of drug and while disqualified from driving, South Tyneside Magistrates were told.

Andrew Wallace.

Andrew Wallace.

They heard Wallace, 20, of Albany Street East, South Shields, led police on a short chase through Jarrow after seeing a traffic car with its blue lights flashing.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “A police patrol appeared with its lights illuminated in Albert Road.

“It appears Wallace thought it referred to him and he sped off.”

After a short chase Wallace abandonned the vehicle.

Mr Anderson added: “After jumping a red light, he leapt from the vehicle when it was still moving.

“The vehicle came to rest after hitting a fence.

“When interviewed, Wallace said he had bought the car a few days earlier from a lad on ebay.

“He said he knows about cars and thought he could make some money by selling it on.”

He added: “Wallace said he had no intention of driving it, but had received a call from his girlfriend who was distressed and in need of a lift.”

The court heard Wallace had been disqualified from driving five weeks earlier.

Wallace admitted driving whilst disqualified, failing to stop when required to do so, using a motor vehicle without insurance, and driving while unfit through drugs, all on August 29.

Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “There is no doubt he has put himself close to Durham Prison, if not actually in it.

“All these offences are summary only, carrying a maximum of six months in prison.

“Like it or not, he is entitled to the maximum one third credit for pleading guilty.

“At most he will serve a couple of months, less if the latter part of his sentence is served by way of a home detention curfew which I understand is often the case.”

He added: “He is not without merit, getting work when he can.

“A more constructive approach could be found than simply locking him up.”

Wallace was jailed for 18 weeks, banned from driving for 26 months, and ordered to pay £200 costs and victim surcharge.

Mr Forrester asked the magistrates if they had allowed Wallace full credit for pleading guilty.

The magistrates said they had.

Mr Forrester said that he would appeal the length of sentence at the crown court.