A BANNED driver who pulled his shirt over his head and mounted pavements in a bid to get away from police has been spared jail.
Kevin Snaith tried to stop officers recognising him as he drove an off-road motorcycle towards Rickleton Village in Washington last November.
In a bid to get away from the unmarked police car travelling behind him, the 25-year-old forced two workmen and a police officer to jump out his path when he mounted pavements.
Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told Newcastle Crown Court: “He undertook a vehicle on the pavement causing two workmen to have to take evasive action to get out of the way.”
As Snaith continued driving at excessive speed he almost struck a police officer who was standing on a pathway.
Mr Wardlaw added: “The officer was on duty. He had to step out of the way to avoid being struck by the defendant.”
Snaith, of West Avenue, Harraton, Washington, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.
Judge John Milford said: “First, two workmen had to get out of the way then on another pavement a policeman had to get out of the way.”
The judge sentenced Snaith to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and programme requirements.
Judge Milford said Snaith’s job, his role as carer for his ill mother and guilty pleas meant the sentence could be suspended.
But he added: “You have been within a whisker of going straight to prison today.”
Glen Gatland, defending, said Snaith had been convinced by a pal to ride the bike home so he could repair it and had panicked when he saw the police.