Knifeman jumped in stranger’s car and landed on boy, 11, as he tried to flee crash he caused

A knifeman jumped into a stranger's car and landed on top of an 11-year-old passenger as he tried to get away from the scene of a crash he caused.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 5:11 pm

Danger driver John Sinclair, who had taken heroin and cocaine, knocked a cyclist off his bike while travelling at around 80mph at West Way in South Shields, after taking his mother's Toyota motor while she was out shopping on September 29 last year.

The 39-year-old continued driving and crashed into another car, which spun his mother's vehicle into a wall and was captured on cctv.

In a bid to get away from the scene, Sinclair, who had tried and failed to make off in the damaged car, pulled out a hunting knife and tried to open doors ofpassing cars, while claiming to have a gun.

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John Sinclair.

He managed to get into the passenger side of a vehicle being driven by a dad, who had his 11-year-old son in the passenger seat.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told Newcastle Crown Court: "He opened the passenger door and dived into the car, on top of the 11-year-old son, who was sitting in the front passenger seat."

The court heard the boy's dad feared his son was injured as he was "trapped underneath the defendant" and felt "physically sick" about the danger posed by the armed stranger.

A passer-by who saw what was going on approached the car and punched Sinclair to the head then dragged him out of the vehicle, with the assistance of thetrapped boy's father.

The scene of the crash caused by John Sinclair.

The men than managed to pin Sinclair to the ground until the police arrived.

Mr Wardlaw said people at the scene, including the two crash victims, feared "they could have been killed or seriously injured".

The boy's dad said the fear he felt was "off the scale".

Sinclair, of Graham Street, South Shields, who has a criminal record, admitted dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, having no insurance, possessing a hunting knife and affray.

Mr Recorder Richard Thyne sentenced him to two-and-a-half years behind bars with a three year driving ban.

The judge told him: "You threatened you had a gun and jumped in one car, on top of an 11-year-old boy.

"His father bravely pulled you out and another member of the public, equally bravely, assisted in detaining you.

"You plainly do pose a high risk to the public."

The court heard Sinclair had been taking drugs for pain management.

Christopher Knox, defending, said Sinclair is now off drugs.

Mr Knox added: "The driving is bad, I accept that."