Banned driver fled from police after being spotted behind the wheel

A banned driver who fled police after being spotted behind the wheel while out collecting his partner’s medication has been spared jail.

Paul Crossley
Paul Crossley

Magistrates told Paul Crossley, 38, of Coquet Avenue, South Shields, his offence crossed the custody threshold and handed him an eight-week jail term.

But they suspended it for 12 months after hearing he was his girlfriend’s principal carer, had shown remorse and could be rehabilitated.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard Crossley sped off in his MG motor when officers pulled up behind him in a side street at Roker Baths Road, Sunderland, at 6.45pm on Saturday, October 5.

His actions forced another motorist to brake sharply at the junction with Fulwell Road and he then abandoned the vehicle and ran off, only to be apprehended soon after.

At the time, he was serving a one-year ban, due to end last December, for drink-driving, driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

Prosecutor Clare Irving said: “Officers were on duty and saw an MG75 parked in a side street near Roker Baths Road.

“The driver headed off at speed and then braked sharply, forcing another driver to stop suddenly.

“The officers gave chase. The defendant was detained a short time later and was arrested. He was a banned driver.”

The court heard that when interviewed Crossley told officers: “I panicked, I thought I would be arrested.”

Robin Ford, defending, said: “There’s evidence of bad driving but not for a long period. There’s a reason for the driving, it’s not a great reason. The temptation was there.

“He tried alternative options. He thought he could nip there and back. We are looking at somebody who was right towards the end of their disqualification period.

“He hasn’t made the right decision, he knows that. He hasn’t covered himself in glory, he knows that.”

For pleading guilty to driving whilst disqualified, Crossley was given a new 12-month road ban and must complete 15 rehabilitation days with the Probation Service and pay a £122 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

No separate penalties were imposed for driving without insurance and without due care and attention, to which he also admitted.