In this section

 Jail for dangerous teenage driver


​A dangerous driver who drove across a playground, into oncoming traffic and the wrong way round a roundabout in a bid to escape police has been jailed.

On April 28, officers spotted a Volkswagen Bora travelling at high speeds on Acre Rigg Road, in Peterlee.

The vehicle, which was being driven by 19-year-old Connor Dodds, failed to stop for officers, and they pursued it through Peterlee and Easington.

During the pursuit, Dodds drove well in excess of the speed limit, on the wrong side of the road, across a playground and through fields where members of the public were walking their dogs.

Officers used a stinger to deflate his tyres and Dodds eventually stopped. He and another man fled from the car but the pair were arrested by officers nearby.

The teenager, of Johnson Close, Peterlee, was charged with dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving without a licence. 

He admitted the offences and at appeared at Durham Crown Court yesterday (June 2) where he was jailed for 12 months.

He was also banned from driving for three-and-a-half years and was ordered to pay £149 court costs.

Inspector Joanne Malkin, from Durham Constabulary, said: “This was an incredibly dangerous piece of driving from Dodds. He drove recklessly, at very high speeds through residential areas – he could have very nearly killed someone. 

“It was a great bit of teamwork from all departments, including response, CID and the roads policing unit, who have worked together to take a dangerous driver off the road.”

The 24-year-old man who was believed to have been the passenger of the vehicle was released under investigation while inquiries continue.