Motorist raced at 100mph before driving the wrong way on the A19 to escape chasing police cars and the force helicopter

A drugged driver who drove the wrong way along the A19 has been jailed for 16 months.

Saturday, 14th September 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 14th September 2019, 9:00 am
David Rubery sparked a late night police chase after running a red traffic light.

David Rubery sparked a late night police chase after running a red traffic light.

Police deployed several patrol cars and their helicopter, but a patrol car came to grief when it ran over the Stinger spiked mat designed to stop speeding drivers.

Prosecutor Uzma Khan told Durham Crown Court the chase began at about 11.10pm.

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“Rubery was in a Renault Modus which attracted the attention of a patrol car by running a red light at the junction of Carrville High Street and the A690,” said Ms Khan.

“The officer indicated to the Modus driver to stop, but he did not do so.

“A pursuit followed during which the Modus was driven at 100mph on the 50mph limit A690, and at speed through West Rainton and the surrounding villages.

“As it approached Murton, police deployed their Stinger device.

“It punctured a tyre on the Renault, but also a tyre on a patrol car which meant that car had to withdraw from the pursuit.”

The court heard the Renault continued travelling east on three inflated tyres.

“It drove the wrong way up the A19 slip road, entering the road the wrong way,” said Ms Khan.

“Several drivers had to swerve to avoid a collision on the dual carriageway road.

“The car eventually stopped in a gateway.

“Rubery decamped from the moving vehicle, leaving it to crash into a gate.”

“After arrest, he was found to be over the limit for the breakdown products of cocaine and cannabis.”

Ms Khan said Rubery admitted dangerous driving in a prepared statement to police, saying he had panicked at the sight of the patrol car.

Rubery, 25, of Kirkstone Close, Houghton, admitted dangerous driving and driving with drugs over the legal limit, all on January 15.

He has 19 previous convictions, including one for dangerous driving.

Jamie Adams, defending, said in mitigation: “Despite fleeing from the police, he was not awkward with them when he was finally caught.

“He submitted to the various tests on his body, when he could have refused.

“Mr Rubery recently became a carer for his younger brother.

“He didn’t do particularly well at school, but has worked in the building trade where he obtained the relevant certificates.

“His best mitigation is probably his guilty plea.”

Judge Jonathan Carroll sentenced Rubery to 16 months in prison.

The judge told him: “Your driving was appalling, putting both yourself and other road users at risk of serious injury.

“You drove at high speed, the wrong way around junctions, and the wrong way up a dual carriageway for more than two miles.

“This was at night, and for a lot of the journey you had no lights.

“All this while over the drugs limit.

“You quite rightly accept that only immediate prison is appropriate.”

Rubery was banned from driving for 26 months, and he must take an extended test if he wishes to drive again.

Judge Carroll ordered the confiscation of his car as an item used in the commission of an offence.