Disqualified danger driver given further road ban after police chase
A dangerous driver who raced away from police at set of traffic lights which led to a high speed chase has kept his freedom.
Stephen Makepeace was supposedly delivering the vehicle to somebody else when he was clocked by officers on the A69 near Newcastle.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that the 65-year-old has also still yet to pass an extended test following being disqualified for a similar offence in 2010.
Rachel Glover, prosecuting, said: "On the 20th March this year officers had been diving along the A69 east bound towards Newcastle city centre.
"Around 10pm their attention was drawn to a vehicle with headlights that appeared to be dimmed.
"They then pulled across central white lines. The vehicle driven by the defendant overtook the officers and continued to swerve and that's when the officers activated their lights to try get the defendant to stop."
Ms Glover said they both came to a stop at a red light and Makepeace gestured to the officers to overtake him, however, when the lights turned green he continued to drive away which triggered the pursuit.
The court heard that he reached speeds of 50mph in a 30 zone towards the A191, as well as contravening a red light and forcing other vehicles - who had right of way - to break suddenly.
Makepeace was eventually stopped and checks revealed he was disqualified and had no insurance.
Makepeace, of Pensher View, Sulgrave, Washington, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance and failing to stop.
Stuart Graham, mitigating, said: "The defendant accepts his behaviour and makes no excuses, only himself to blame and was totally stupid and it was pure panic.
"He was in a real bad place at the time. He had lost his brother just prior to this and on top of that had a heart operation in December."
Mr Graham said Makepeace was in a state of distress and worry that he was beginning to show signs of memory loss, after losing both his father and brother to dementia.
Mr Recorder Ian Mullarkey sentenced Makepeace to ten months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 15 days of rehabilitation requirements and a night-time curfew.
He must also complete 100 hours of unpaid work and has been banned from the roads for a further 12 months.