Dad stopped by cops driving car with flat tyre had keys for vehicle involved in smash minutes earlier
A car crash dad ended up in trouble after a motor with a noisy flat tyre led him to get a driving ban.
Anthony Hodgson, 31, crashed a Seat Altea in Portsmouth Road, Pennywell, Sunderland, while unfit through drugs – and scarpered.
But Hodgson, of Highfield Place, Pallion, Sunderland, put himself in the frame as the culprit minutes later when he got behind the wheel of another car.
Bizarrely, he retraced his route, alerting police at the accident scene by the roar of the Skoda Fabia’s burst tyre.
They watched stunned as Hodgson crawled by at 3.10am on Friday, September 4, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.
Prosecutor Grace Taylor said it was enough for them to suspect the working dad-of-three had been the driver of the Seat - and pulled him over.
Roadside drink and drugs tests came back negative, but police station checks showed illegal substances THC and amphetamine were in his system.
Ms Taylor said the levels – while below the legal limit – were high enough for Hodgson to admit to being unfit to drive through drugs.
He is now starting a 14-month roads' ban after pleading guilty to that and three other driving charges.
Ms Taylor told the court “Police received a report of a suspicious vehicle with front-end damage.
“While travelling to the scene, they received further information that the male driving the vehicle had slurred speech.
“At the scene, they saw that the vehicle had extensive front-end damage and there was engine fluid in the road.
“The officers tried to find out what the car had hit and followed the trail to some damaged street furniture not far from the scene.
“While parked there, the officers were alerted to another vehicle making excessive noise in their direction.
“It overtook the police vehicle and almost collided with the officers’ vehicle.
“The officer noticed it was being driven at a very slow speed. It collided with the curb line and narrowly missed parked vehicles.
“They stopped him and in his jacket pocket was the key to the Seat that had collided with the railings.”
The court heard Hodgson had one previous conviction, from 2014, for a dissimilar matter.
Greg Flaxen, defending, said: “It’s not the most straightforward of cases.
“The limits for the drugs, as we’ve heard, are below but we accept that there was some there.
“He’s embarrassed to be here. I don’t think that he’s going to trouble the court in the future.
“He has other issues including sleep apnoea, which is recorded on his record.
“He recalls the accident because he put his head through the windscreen.
“He had had an argument with his partner and had left to calm down and go to his grandmother’s.
“He drove a second vehicle that had a deflated tyre and which the police heard.”
Hodgson also pleaded guilty to failing to stop after an accident, driving without insurance and using on a vehicle in such a condition it caused or was likely to cause danger.He was fined £416, with £85 court costs and a £42 victim surcharge.