South Shields cocaine man who forced police to abandon car chase is spared jail
A danger driver who crashed his dad's car into a lamppost after a police pursuit has been spared jail.
Jamie Alder refused to stop for police who spotted him driving "too fast" at 20mph Reed Street, in South Shields, where children were playing, on August 12 last year.
Officers initially followed the 21-year-old before abandoning the pursuit after just under a mile due to "road conditions, people and pedestrians".
Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told Newcastle Crown Court: "In his haste to get away, at the junction of Imeary Street and George Potts Street, the defendant collided with a lamppost and made off from the vehicle.
"It was witnessed by a pedal cyclist who saw the defendant running off from the vehicle.
"The defendant came close to but did not collide with the cyclist."
Mr Wardlaw said Alder was arrested after checks on the vehicle revealed it was registered to his father, who paid compensation to the local authority for the damage to the lamppost.
Alder, of Swallowtail Court, South Shields, admitted dangerous driving and possessing two wraps of cocaine found in the car after the crash.
Mr Recorder Toby Hedworth sentenced him to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with 100 hours unpaid work and a 12-month road ban.
The judge told Alder what he did was an "extremely stupid and dangerous thing" and added: "This was at a time when there were not only other road users but cyclists and pedestrians and that is where problems occur in this sort of driving."
Claire Anderson, defending, said Alder had driven off after an argument with his girlfriend and had failed to stop for police through "panic" because he feared there was a problem with his driving licence and he knew there were drugs in the car.
Miss Anderson said the dangerous driving was over a "very short distance".