Police release footage after lockdown danger driver crashed into traffic island and brick wall in chase through South Shields and Whitburn

A lockdown danger driver who had two crashes during a police chase that lasted less than five minutes has kept his freedom.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 9:54 pm

Michael Thompson, who had no licence or insurance, was behind the wheel of a Ford Focus he bought for £300 from Facebook when police tried to pull him over in the early hours of January 29 2021.

Over the next three to four miles the 25-year-old, who refused to stop, crashed into a traffic island and damaged his car then continued on and smashed into a brick wall.

Prosecutor Penny Hall told Newcastle Crown Court after police first tried to pull him over at Galsworthy Road, South Shields, Thompson travelled at around 70mph through residential streets and went through atemporary red light.

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Michael Thompson was finally stopped in Whitburn

She added: "He collided with a central island and caused damage to his vehicle, but that didn't stop him."

Miss Hall said Thompson, who had a passenger in the car, drove through another red light and then headed down a back lane, which turned out to be a dead end and added; "He came to a stop by hitting a brick wall."The court heard the car Thompson was driving was written-off in the incident.

Police released footage after the court case which showed the final moments of the chase in Whitburn.Thompson, of High Street, Jarrow, was arrested at the scene and went on to admit dangerous driving, driving otherwise than an accordance with a licence and having no insurance.He told police he had bought the car from Facebook but had not yet registered or insured the vehicle.Mr recorder Mark Giuliani sentenced Thompson to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements, a four month nighttime curfew and a three-year road ban.The judge told him: "Being in a car at 4am during a period of national lockdown immediately drew your attention, unsurprisingly, to the police."You immediately started to accelerate away, reaching speeds of 70mph in a 40mph zone."After about one mile your car entered at 70mph into a 30mph zone. You approached a temporary light on red and you continued."While making a right turn you misjudged it and your car hit a central island, causing damage to the car, however, you didn't stop and you carried on driving at excessive speed."You approached another junction and went through a red light and you then turned off the road, down a quite back street, which turned out to be a dead end."You turned the car and you crashed into a wall of a building, causing some damage to the brickwork."The judge added: "Driving in that way presents a danger to the public, other road users, pedestrians, other car users, your passenger, yourself and the police."Richard Bloomfield, defending, said Thompson is a "family man" who has health issues and the chase lasted "just under five minutes" and went on for three-to-four miles.Mr Bloomfield added: "Fortuitously it was 4am and it is quite obvious there is little traffic on the road."Mr Bloomfield said the car was written off and left "worthless".

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The final moments of the chase in Whitburn
Michael Thompson
Newcastle Crown Court.