Danger driver rammed police cars and reached speeds of 'almost 100mph'

A danger driver who rammed two police cars after reaching speeds of almost 100mph in a bid to get away has been put behind bars.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 3:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 4:00 pm
Paul Clark.

Officers spotted Paul Clark behind the wheel of a stolen Vauxhall Astra GTC Sport turbo, that was bearing false number plates, on the A690 in Durham on August 3.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 31-year-old, who had been drinking and was already banned from the roads, ignored orders to stop and drove at speed, on the wrong side of the carriageway and through a red light.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister said as Clark travelled towards Pity Me in County Durham he reached "almost 100mph" in a 60mph zone.

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Police deployed a stinger device on the A167 but he "managed to steer around it" and then appeared to bring the car to a halt.

Mr Pallister said: "A police officer positioned his vehicle sideways, in front of the Astra. However, the Astra set off again and rammed the passenger side ofthe police vehicle.

"It was a blatant attempt to ram the police vehicle away."

The court heard another police vehicle drove up the Astra to try and stop it reversing.

Mr Pallister added: "He reversed and connected with the front of the vehicle in an attempt to ram his way out."

Mr Pallister said despite being blocked in, Clark continued "revving heavily" and added: "A police constable removed his baton and began striking the frontpassenger window.

"The window smashed and enabled the door to be opened.

"The defendant was in the driver's seat, revving the engine, trying to change gear.

"The officer struck the defendant's left arm and shoulder, several times, to prevent him making further attempts to drive off.

"Other officers removed him from the car and he was arrested."

Clark said he had bought the car, that had been stolen from Sunderland in June, for £450 a few days before but he refused to say who from.

Clark, of Pembroke Avenue, Sunderland, who has 90 previous convictions, including driving offences, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, handling stolen goods, driving with excess alcohol and having no insurance.

Mr Recorder David Brooke QC sentenced Clark to two years behind bars. He was also handed a 58 month road ban.

Addressing Clark, the judge said it was "lucky" nobody was injured and told him: "I am not going to preach to you, save to say to you that you can see this is just going one way for yourself.

"I've got absolutely no choice but to send you to prison again."

Nicholas Lane, defending, told the court that the dangerous driving was in the early hours of the morning and there were few pedestrians or other vehicles around.

Mr Lane added: "He must accept damage was caused to the police vehicles and he is incredibly fortunate, indeed grateful, that injury was not caused to any member of the public or police officer."

The court was also told that Clark has children and a supportive partner.