Danger driver led police on 90mph chase with pregnant girlfriend in car

Teesside Crown Court
Teesside Crown Court

A danger driver from South Tyneside led police on a 90mph car chase with his pregnant girlfriend on board.

John Robinson’s 20-minute rampage through Hartlepool was his seventh dangerous driving offence and ended when he crashed into a tree.

Robinson, 19, was first convicted of dangerous driving when he was just 14, and was yesterday put behind bars for the for the seventh time.

Robinson, of Dacre Street, South Shields, was jailed for 18 months at Teesside Crown Court and disqualified for five years and until he passes an extended driving test.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving disqualified, failing to stop and having no insurance, and he walked off to the cells singing.

The court heard Robinson had never had a licence - despite being ordered to pass the extended driving test each time he was banned and his last disqualification was for five years for aggravated vehicle taking.

Robinson had bought the blue Corsa only two days before police tried to stop him for driving without insurance at 2.25am on December 2 in Seaton Lane, Hartlepool.

A 20-minute video from an on-board camera of the police patrol car showed him racing through red traffic lights, travelling long distances on the wrong side of the road, taking roundabouts the wrong way and driving down a cycle track before crashing into the tree on Lancaster Road.

Four police cars had tried to box him in, but Robinson accelerated out of the trap before careering to a halt.

He was taken to hospital for a check-up with his pregnant girlfriend and two other passengers, but they were all relatively unscathed.

David Crook, prosecuting, said: “There were at least three attempts to get the defendant to stop but, as he tried to get around the vehicles, he crashed into a tree.”

Jim Withyman, defending, said that Robinson and his girlfriend were not aware at the time that she was pregnant.

He said Robinson expected to go to jail again and asked for the sentence to be deferred for six months to give Robinson the chance to prove that he could stay out of trouble and to become a good father who could support his family.

The judge Recorder Andrew Sutcliffe QC said: “It would be hard to envisage a more appalling example of dangerous driving.

“It is apparent from the film which I have watched that you intended to escape from the police driving at the reckless and terrifying speed of 90mph in a 30mph limit in a built-up area.

“This is your seventh offence of dangerous driving, dating back to when you were only 14 years old.

“It is plain that, no matter the attempts the courts have made in the past to assist or desist you, you have made no attempt to change your offending.”