Banned Sunderland driver led police on high-speed chase – with his baby daughter in the car

Wayne Stephenson, 28, of Bellamy Crescent, Sunderland.
Wayne Stephenson, 28, of Bellamy Crescent, Sunderland.
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A dangerous driver has been jailed after a high-speed police chase, while his partner and eight-month-old daughter were in the car.

Wayne Stephenson, 28, was arrested after police saw him driving while disqualified on November 14.

After realising the police wanted to stop him, he sped off through Seaham and Seaton at speeds of up to 50mph in residential areas, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Stephenson, of Bellamy Crescent, Town End Farm, Sunderland, who has a total of 33 convictions from 51 previous offences, then drove into a cul de sac where he ran off, leaving behind his partner and child in the car.

He was caught after witnesses saw him hiding in wasteland on Stockton Road.

Claire Anderson, prosecuting said: “When police caught up with him he walked towards the police officers and gave himself up.

“When he was arrested he told them that he wasn’t driving the car and upon interview he gave no comment.”

Louise Harrison, defending said: “The driving was dangerous, but is not the worst example, it is clear. However, he was putting everyone at risk by driving in a built-up area.

“At the time of the offence he was disqualified and he was taking his partner Christmas shopping.

“This is a man who has grown up a lot recently and his past offences were offences of a young man.

“He has a great interest in cars which has led to a dreadful record.

“He wants to gain employment to keep himself busy and support his family and wants to turn his life around and be a good father.

“He is ashamed of his behaviour.”

Stephenson pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving whilst disqualified at a previous hearing and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, with a driving ban of three years upon release.

Mr Recorder Benjamin Nolan, QC, said: “You were driving in breach of a disqualification and your vehicle was stopped by a police officer.

“You realised you had been seen by the officer, but then drove for a long while after the police’s blue lights came on.

“You tried to get away by driving at excessive speeds over a considerable distance, and put other road users in extreme danger, which was extremely dangerous.”