Danger driver forced police to abandon pursuit after hitting 'speeds in excess of 70mph' in South Shields

An uninsured danger driver forced police to abandon their pursuit as he hit speeds of over 70mph to avoid arrest on residential streets.

Callum Harkus, 21, began the chase when he sped from a marked car while speeding on Temple Park Road, near the West Park, South Shields, a court heard.

Harkus, of Broughton Road, failed to stop for blue lights as he powered onto the 40mph Western Approach at up 60mph.

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After forcing another vehicle to brake sharply at 9pm on Wednesday, June 15, he continued at 50pmh through 30mph Laygate, prosecutor James Long said.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

His antics also saw him overtake on the wrong side of the road close to Millbank police station and go the wrong way over a roundabout at Asda.

Mr Long told borough magistrates Harkus then powered his VW Golf past the Coronation Street supermarket and into the town centre.

He added: “He then went into Garden Lane and left into Mount Terrace at 40mph.

“He went straight across a junction without making any attempt to slow down, and turned into Fowler Street and Anderson Street and onto Ocean Road.

“The defendant drove through a red light and hit a kerb, before going into Mile End Road.

"He went the wrong way around a roundabout on River Drive, and towards Littlehaven Beach at speeds in excess of 70mph.

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“There was no opportunity for a tactical end to the pursuit, and so the pursuit was abandoned.

“The defendant’s vehicle went right on Sea Road. It was found in the car park at The Dunes.

“The crown says this is a matter that should be committed to the crown court.”

Harkus, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

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Gerry Armstrong, defending, told magistrates: “I feel that sentencing guidelines say this is out of your jurisdiction.”

Magistrates declined jurisdiction and sent Harkus to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday, January 27.

They imposed an interim driving ban, ordered a pre-sentence report and granted him unconditional bail.