Hit-and-run drink driver injured pensioner after raiding South Shields car

Dinolee Donnelly.
Dinolee Donnelly.

A hit-and-run driver knocked a motocyclist off his bike after losing control of a car he had taken from his father without permission.

Dinolee Donnelly, who was over the drink-drive limit, had taken the Vauxhall Astra from outside of his father's house in South Shields and hit the victim, who was in his early 70s and suffered a broken wrist alongside other injuries, in Leam Lane.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the stolen vehicle had a tracker fitted which was used by police to trace the 27-year-old when he fled from the smash scene and returned to South Tyneside.

Prosecutor Mark Guiliani told the court: "He was apprehended about four miles away because his father had rang the police to alert them to the fact his car had been taken.

"His father's car was fitted with a tracker device.

"The tracker was activated and by means of following where the tracker was, the police were able to detain the defendant."

Donnelly, of no fixed address, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving with excessive alcohol and otherwise in accordance with a licence, having no insurance and failing to stop after an accident.

The offences all happened in September.

Mr Guiliani added: "He was driving a car which wasn't his, when he was over the legal limit to drive, he must have been aware he had alcohol in his system.

"He had no insurance to drive the vehicle, he was driving a vehicle he knew he should not be driving."

Mr Guiliani said Donnelly made a "deliberate decision to ignore the rules of the road".

Mr Recorder Simon Goldberg sentenced Donnelly, who has a long criminal record, to 16 months in jail, suspended for two years, with programme requirements, a £150 fine and a two year road ban.

The judge told him: "It was driving that created a substantial risk of danger and in my view you were driving at greatly excessive speed in the circumstances.

"You were driving while your ability to drive was impaired by your consumption of alcohol."

Graeme Cook, defending, said Donnelly had nowhere to live after being released from his last custodial sentence and was unable to get medication he needed to stable his mood.

Mr Cook said Donnelly had planned to kill himself when he took the car and did not intend to harm anyone else.