Fugitive left trail of 'mayhem and injury' during Sunderland city centre police chase

David Roberts
David Roberts

A fugitive left a trail of "mayhem and injury" when he smashed into two cars while fleeing from police during a city centre chase.

David Roberts, who was wanted on an arrest warrant, "put his foot down" when he realised officers had spotted him driving along Pallion New Road in Sunderland last August 3.

In his high-speed bid to get away, the 23-year old smashed into two cars as they crossed the Queen Alexandra bridge.

One driver suffered injuries when her car was pushed 12 feet along the road by the impact and £5,000 damage was caused to her vehicle.

A second motorist, who was also injured, had her vehicle written off in the afternoon smash.

Roberts jumped out of his car via the passenger door after the smashes and escaped on foot.

He handed himself in to the police station later.

Roberts, of Sorley Street, Sunderland, admitted dangerous driving, having no insurance, failing to stop, failing to report and accident and driving otherwise in accordance with a licence.

At Newcastle Crown Court, Judge Amanda Rippon sentenced him to nine months behind bars.

The judge said Roberts was "lucky he didn't kill someone" and told him: "You were wanted on a warrant and you knew that.

"You saw the police.

"What ensued was a police chase. You decided to abscond, putting your foot down, driving in excess of the speed limit and swerving between lanes.

"You lost control and drove into two other vehicles which were perfectly lawfully on public road, being driven by two women.

"You got out of the passenger side door and ran away, leaving the mayhem and injury you had caused behind you.

"People who drive like that on our roads deserve to go to prison."

The court heard no action resulted from the warrant Roberts was wanted on.

Prosecutor David Crook told the court Roberts drove away "at high speed" when he spotted the police on Pallion New Road and was travelling "erratically, between lanes".

He then carried out a handbrake turn at a disused petrol station and headed back in the direction he came from in a bid to get away.

Mr Crook added: "Officers followed the vehicle which then crossed the Queen Alexandra Bridge, connecting with two motor vehicles."

One motorist said he heard a loud "bang" before her car was pushed 12 feet forward along the road.

She got out of her car, with a pain to her neck, and saw another car had also been damaged.

Jacqueline Coxon, defending, said Roberts was "hanging around with bad people" at the time but has since settled down and found a job.

Miss Coxon said Roberts "panicked" when he saw the police and added: "He is willing to meet the drivers to apologise and explain his behaviour.

"He apologises wholeheartedly."