A CONVICTED criminal who jumped a red light in front of a police car has been spared jail.
Geoffrey Croft was under the terms of a suspended sentence when he drove through a red light in Sunderland.
Appearing in Newcastle Crown Court, Croft, 22, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance, driving whilst disqualified and contravening a red light.
Prosecutor Caroline McGurk told the court: “At 11.10pm on July 13 the defendant had stopped at a red light.
“However, a police officer drove up behind him at the junction of Burdon Road and Park Road in Sunderland. The defendant then drove off though the red light was still showing.”
Croft, who was driving his father’s car, was arrested, but made no statement under interview.
He was convicted of affray in 2010 after an incident which took place on June 26.
Ms McGurk said: “The defendant was one of a group and they approached two males in another group and began an altercation.
“A bottle was used, but not by this defendant.
“However, he did strike each male in the face and then when one male tried to run from the scene he chased him for some time.”
Croft pleaded guilty on the day of his trial and was handed a suspended prison sentence, which was still active in July this year when he jumped the red light.
His driving licence had been revoked on February 7 this year until August 2012.
Croft, of Palmerston Square, in Pennywell, was given a six-month supervision order for breaching his suspended sentence, and 150 hours of unpaid work in the community for his driving offences.
He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Passing sentence, Judge John Milford QC, told Croft: “You’re back before this court because you’re in breach of a suspended sentence.
“In fact I’m not going to send you to prison because these offences are not similar to your previous offences and there are some positives to be found in the pre-sentence report.”