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Posted on Tuesday 14 March 2023
Joshua BAKER

A drug dealer who led police on a dangerous pursuit in an uninsured car has been jailed. 

Joshua Baker made off from officers in the uninsured Volkswagen Golf after he was stopped on Lanchester Road, near Burnhope, in June 2021. 

The 23-year-old then drove at high speed through busy roads in Annfield Plain, Catchgate and Harelaw, often on the wrong side of the road and into oncoming traffic, narrowly missing several vehicles. 

After turning off into a residential street in Dipton, Baker threw a package from the vehicle, which was recovered from the side of the road. 

The package contained more than £3,000 worth of cocaine that was later forensically linked to Baker. 

Officers arrested Baker a short time later at his home in Burnopfield after he abandoned the vehicle, and he was charged with possession with intent to supply a Class A drug, dangerous driving, and driving while under the influence of a controlled drug. 

Baker, of Lambton Gardens, Burnopfield, was convicted of the driving offences in 2021 and jailed for 14 months. 

He returned to Durham Crown Court last Friday (March 10) where he was jailed for a further 33 months after pleading guilty to supplying a class A drug. 

Detective Constable Graeme Whitfield, from Durham Constabulary, said: “Baker’s efforts to evade police that day put other law-abiding motorists in considerable danger – his manner of driving was reckless and he showed absolutely no regard for the safety of others. 

“Our investigation found that he was also involved in the supply of cocaine in the Derwentside area, where he would deliver to customers on demand. 

“The sentences serve as a reminder for young people not to fall into trap of trying to make quick, illegal money.”

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