Watch uninsured danger driver lead police on high-speed chase

A teenage danger driver led police on a high speed chase through South Tyneside and County Durham.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 2:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 3:08 pm

Reece Bannister, 19, who only held a provisional licence and had no insurance, endangered the lives of the public and police during a terrifying 30-minute pursuit after he failed to stop for officers on the evening of November 11.

The reckless motorist tore along roads in Jarrow, Hebburn and Gateshead at high speeds, ignoring red lights and travelling 18 miles before a police stinger brought his Vauxhall Corsa to an abrupt stop.

He sparked a large police response which included the police helicopter as officers looked to stop the vehicle without causing harm to other motorists.

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Bannister jumps a red light in Jarrow

Bannister, of Northbourne Road, Jarrow, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without a licence and having no insurance.

PC Steven Malt, of Northumbria Police’s Motor Patrols Department, said Bannister could easily have caused serious injury or even a fatality.

“It is down to sheer luck and good fortune nobody was injured or killed” said PC Malt.

“The manner of his driving was incredibly dangerous which could have had catastrophic consequences.

Police used a stinger device to stop Bannister's car

“He led police on a perilous pursuit purely because he had no licence or insurance. He was unwilling to face the consequences of his actions and made a prolonged, desperate bid for freedom.

“He cannot be trusted to use our roads in a safe and respectable manner, and is without doubt a danger to other motorists. The laws of the road are not advisory – they are there for a reason.

“He must now deal with the serious consequences of his selfish and unacceptable actions.”

Magistrates heard Bannister spotted a marked police vehicle on Bede Burn Road in Jarrow shortly before 11.30pm on November 11.

A still from the police helicopter shows the end of the pursuit

He then drove through a series of red lights, darting down residential streets at speeds of up to 90mph, and even turned his headlights off at one stage in a bid to escape capture.

He went on to clock 100mph on the A1 before leaving the carriageway near Chester-le-Street. After tracking his movements from the sky, police used a stinger device to bring Bannister’s Corsa to a stop.

He will be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on January 3.