Jail warning for VW Golf driver who hit up to 80mph in 20mph zone and went 'airborne' when hitting speed bumps

A driver could be jailed for going ‘airborne’ while hitting speed bumps at 80mph in a 20mph South street while fleeing police.
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Mark Swinhoe’s VW Golf attained lift off in Perth Avenue, South Tyneside, when he tried to outrun patrolling officers.

Swinhoe, 28, of Hayton Close, Southwick, Sunderland, abandoned his escape bid at 2.45am on Monday, August 29 – and fled on foot.

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But he was apprehended when tracked down and threatened with a Taser, borough magistrates heard.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

They told him his danger-drive offence was so serious he must be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court – and warned imprisonment was “inevitable”.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Winchester said: “Officers were conducting road patrols in South Tyneside using unmarked vehicles.

“Their attention was drawn to a vehicle being driven by the defendant, it having turned sharply into Perth Avenue.

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“The officers turned their vehicle around and saw the defendant begin to accelerate away.

“They activated their lights and sirens, but the defendant failed to stop.

“Perth Avenue is subject to a 20mph limit and has speed bumps down its entire length, but it is estimated he hit a speed of approximately 80mph.

“The vehicle seemed to be sent airborne over each bump that he hit. He then reached a dead end and ran from the vehicle over a footbridge on the A19.

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“Three other males also ran from the vehicle. Officers gave chase to the defendant, and he was approached and threatened with a Taser.

“It was 80mph in a 20mph residential area, and the vehicle went airborne over speed bumps.”

Swinhoe, who has four previous convictions, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

He was last in court in 2015 on charges of theft and causing criminal damage.

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Charlton Carr, defending, said: “It’s excessive speed. If he’d only stopped the car when the police put their lights on, he’d only have been done for no insurance and no licence.”

Harry Metcalfe, chair of the bench, told Swinhoe: “Custody is inevitable.”

Magistrates ordered a pre-sentence report on Swinhoe and imposed an interim driving ban.

They granted him unconditional bail to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, October 24.