Sunderland danger driver jailed after police pursuit across Wearmouth Bridge

Wearmouth Bridge.

Wearmouth Bridge.

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A dangerous driver who tried to avoid police by running red lights and driving off-road has been jailed.

Richard Price, 32, had been driving erratically down Newcastle Road, Sunderland in the early hours of the morning while out on bail for another offence.

During the incident, which happened on August 10 last year at 1.10am, Price was spotted at a set of traffic lights after a police car pulled up beside him.

Claire Anderson, prosecuting said: "The police officer in the car noticed the defendant was attempting to conceal his face and began tailing the car.

"He said that the car was driving in excess of the 30mph speed limit and the brake lights were flashing erratically.

"The police officer continued to follow him where the car then drove over the Wearmouth Bridge at speeds of up to 50mph and failed to stop at red lights.

"Overall the chase lasted for about 10 minutes over a course of seven miles."

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the officer then turned on his lights and requested back up but Price managed to get away by driving off-road.

A police helicopter had been called and was able to pin-point Price's location. He was found hiding in a garden in Down Hill.

Price admitted charges of dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance at a previous hearing.

Jamie Adams, mitigating for Price, said his client had his "eyes set on being released in September this year".

He added that 32-year-old - who has six previous driving convictions - had been suffering from drug problems and was in debt to local dealers.

Judge John Milford QC sentenced Price, of Eglinton Street, Sunderland, to 21 months in prison.

He said: "This dangerous driving was done when on bail and you were pursued by the police for around 10 minutes.

"Dangerous driving such as this shocks the public and you must face the consequences for what you did."

Price was also disqualified from driving for three years and must undertake an extended driving test.