Driver jailed after terrifying car chase

Jordan Graham
Jordan Graham
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A DANGER driver mowed down a police officer during a terrifying city centre chase.

Banned driver Jordan Graham had already rammed Sergeant Jamie Bell’s patrol car twice before ploughing into the officer who had continued the pursuit on foot.

Sgt Bell was flung on to the bonnet of the Vauxhall Corsa before crashing down on to the road.

Graham, of Chester Road, Sunderland was jailed for three years and four months at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday.

Judge Simon Hickey said: “It is about the worst case of dangerous driving that one could deal with.”

Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court that during the initial 10-minute late-night chase, where 22-year-old Graham appeared to be doing “laps” around Sunderland city centre, motorists had to swerve and a pedestrian had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

Graham drove on pavements, the wrong way down one way streets, ignored give way and no entry signs and even deliberately knocked down wheelie bins in a lane to try and block the path for police who were following.

At one stage the officers lost sight of Graham’s vehicle, before it emerged from a back lane without lights and drove towards the police car

Miss Dowling told the court: “As the police car drove to Tunstall Road, it emerged from the rear lane, without lights, and accelerated towards the patrol car, deliberately ramming into the driver’s door, causing damage.”

Graham accelerated away to Belvedere Road where the officers caught sight of him in an alley.

Miss Dowling added: “As they approached the defendant’s vehicle it accelerated and reversed and collided again with the near side of the police vehicle, causing damage and preventing the passenger from getting out of the police car.”

The court heard that as Graham fled the scene of the second smash, while reversing at high speed on the wrong side of the road, he smashed into a lamppost.

Miss Dowling said: “This afforded the officer the opportunity to try and smash the windows of the vehicle in an attempt to get hold of Mr Graham.

“The officer described as he made his way to the driver’s door the defendant put the vehicle in first and drive at the officer, colliding with his right leg which caused him to fall on to the bonnet of the vehicle then hit the road.”

The court heard that despite being hurt Sgt Bell continued to give chase until Graham ploughed the Corsa into a second police vehicle and finally collided with a tree.

Graham, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to provide a specimen, having no insurance and unrelated charges of burglary and wounding, struggled and spat when he was arrested after the incident in July this year.

Judge Hickey banned Graham from the roads for four years and said: “This took place over 10 minutes.

“That is an extremely long time for pedestrians and users of the roads to be put at risk.”

Paul Cross, defending, said Graham had “panicked” when he saw the police were after him and has been gaining qualifications while on remand.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho