South Shields danger driver horrifies judge after risking lives in police chase

This road menace has been told his chances of killing someone were "incredibly high" as he hurtled through urban streets at 70mph in a shocking bid to get away from the police.

Officers had tried to pull over Connor Womersley's Volkswagen Passat on Stanhope Road, South Shields, but he sped away from the blue lights and sirens.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the police eventually had to abandon the ten-minute pursuit through the town as Womersley's driving was so dangerous.

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Video taken from the police car dashboard camera shows Womersley's vehicle "hurtling" through the urban area with no regard for anyone else.

The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mr Recorder Mark McKone KC said after viewing the footage: "I have seen a lot of video recordings in this job and that is one of the worst pieces of driving I have seen for a long time.

"The chances of you killing someone or killing yourself were incredibly high."

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Prosecutor Liam O'Brien told the court: "The defendant refused to stop for the police, he drove in a very dangerous manner.

"He accelerated hard, through streets with a 30mph limit he was travelling at 70mph or thereabouts.

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Connor Wormersley.

"He undertook vehicles, drove down the wrong side of roads, the wrong way around roundabouts, on numerous occasions he mounted the pavement and drove over pedestrian grassed areas.

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"This was a built up urban area. The defendant was hurtling along streets of terraced houses, with parked vehicles on both sides, at speeds that would have given him no time to react should a pedestrian step out into his path.

"Other vehicles were forced to take evasive actions.

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"This was a Sunday afternoon."

Mr O'Brien said after ten minutes the officers abandoned the pursuit because Womersley's driving was so dangerous.

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He was seen again by chance by officers but eventually abandoned the vehicle and ran off.

Womersley was arrested two days after the chase and by then had shaved his beard in a bid to disguise himself and claimed the car had been sold to someone else before the offences.

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Two-and-a-half years after the chase, which happened in March 2020, Womersley, 27, of Sutton Way, South Shields, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.

Jane Foley, defending, told the court: "He has attempted to turn his life around and, perhaps, matured."

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The court heard Womersley has a history of mental health problems.

He was sentenced to 21 months, suspended for two years, with a nine month curfew, programme requirements and a four year road ban.

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The judge said Womersley was more likely to stay out of trouble in future with support from the probation service.