Banned South Shields driver handed new road ban after being caught by police

A South Tyneside dad who habitually drives while banned failed to outfox police while committing his latest repeat offence.

Craig Dickinson, 28, spotted officers watching as he got into the driver’s seat of a Ford Transit van in Lord Nelson Street, Tyne Dock.

Dickinson, of Ashley Road, South Shields, exited from the vehicle, on Sunday, September 5 – but only until they had vanished.

And his plan to avoid detection failed when they spotted him at the wheel soon afterwards on nearby Hudson Street, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Craig Dickinson.

He fled when officers put on their blues and twos, but was caught after a road and foot chase, prosecutor Jonathan Stirland said.

Dickinson was spared jail after pleading guilty to his fourth driving while disqualified offence – but banned from the roads afresh for 32 months.

Mr Stirland said: “There was one car between the officer and the defendant.

“The van was travelling towards Boldon Lane. The officer alighted his sirens and the other car moved to let him through.

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“The Transit increased its speed and sharply turned onto Stanhope Road.

“It was out of view for a few seconds but the next turn off was 300m away. It must have made one turn, and that was into a rear lane.

“The officer sees that the vehicle has come to a stop. He located Mr Dickinson as he tried to make off, it’s a short chase.”

The court heard Dickinson committed the third of his banned driving offences while also over the drink-drive limit.

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It was a double crime for which he was jailed for 12 weeks and disqualified for 40 months on June 9, 2020.

David Forrester, defending, said dad-of-two Dickinson may have been coerced into driving.

He also said his client had stopped consuming booze after a period of binge drinking and was in the process of setting up in business.

Mr Forrester added: “He was asked to drop off some matting. He has been to prison so he should have known better.”

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District Judge Kathryn Meek jailed Dickinson for 12 weeks but suspended the sentence for a year.

She ordered him to complete up to 20 rehabilitation days, with a £128 victim surcharge.