Unlicenced driver who led police on a high speed chase in South Tyneside keeps his freedom

An unlicenced driver who sparked a 25-minute chase after he "panicked" when he saw the police has kept his freedom.
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Officers had tried to pull over Dalton Chisholm, who was behind the wheel of a Susuki Vitara, on Prince Edward Road, South Shields, on April 29 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard instead of coming to a stop, Chisholm drove off towards Temple Park and Cleadon.

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Prosecutor Joe Culley told the court: "He drove dangerously in a number of respects, including reaching 80mph in a 40mph zone on more than one occasion, travelling on the wrong side of the road on a number of occasions, including while approaching a junction, crossing lines repeatedly and at one point reaching 65mph in a 30mph zone."

Mr Culley said the Vitara collided with the side of another car before Chisholm and a male passenger fled the vehicle on foot.

Newcastle Crown Court. Photo: Google Maps.Newcastle Crown Court. Photo: Google Maps.
Newcastle Crown Court. Photo: Google Maps.

Chisholm, who held just an expired provisional licence and was not insured, was caught hiding in bushes.

The 23-year-old, of Wiltshire Road, Sunderland, admitted dangerous driving.

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Annalisa Moscardini, defending, said Chisholm "panicked" and added: "He can't really explain his actions."

Miss Moscardini said Chisholm has family responsibilities and hopes to secure employment.

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Judge Robert Adams told him: "You panicked when you saw the police car, assuming they were stopping you because you were uninsured.

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"You accept driving recklessly for 25 minutes, attempting to get away.

"You said it is the stupidest thing you have done, which I hope is right."

Judge Adams said Chisholm had come "very close" to going to prison but accepted he was "remorseful and fully regretted it" and told him: "You are getting a chance today."

Chisholm was sentenced to 12 months, suspended for 18 months, with rehabilitation and programme requirements and 120 hours unpaid work.