Drink driver sparked 10-mile Sunderland police chase

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A DRINK-DRIVER who sparked a ten-mile police pursuit across a city and three towns has been spared jail.

Officers started to tail Liam Merrigan after he almost hit a kerb at Baxter Road, Town End Farm, in the early hours of March 31.

He refused to pull over, despite police activating lights and sirens, and by the time he stopped the Astra he had been pursued from Sunderland, to Boldon, on to South Shields, then Jarrow and back to Boldon.

During the 15-minute chase the provisional licence holder drove through a red light, over the speed limit and through a no entry sign.When the 23-year-old was collared he told police: “I’m sorry. I should have stopped, I’ve been stupid.

“I haven’t got a licence. I’ve taken my dad’s car.”

A test showed him to be twice the legal limit for driving.

Merrigan, of Arnold Street, Boldon Colliery admitted dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol, having no insurance, and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

Judge Roger Thorn sentenced him to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with supervision, 120 hours’ unpaid work and an 18-month driving ban.