South Shields danger-driver led police on 70mph car chase in 30mph zone in Sunderland
A dangerous driver who hit speeds of up to 70mph in a 30mph zone during a police chase has been jailed.
Lee Woollard was spotted driving without insurance by officers in an unmarked car on Hylton Road, Sunderland, shortly after midnight on January 31.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Woollard then sped off and sparked a police pursuit.
The 39-year-old, who has relevant previous convictions, frequently drove the wrong way around roundabouts and also sped through a red light.
Neil Pallister, prosecuting, said: "Police passed a Vauxhall Astra driving in the opposite direction.
"They did a subsequent check of the vehicle which showed the car to be having no insurance."
The court heard that Woollard did initially stop when requested to, but when an officer approached on foot, he accelerated away from them on Dame Dorothy Street.
Mr Pallister added: "Police officers began a pursuit along the A183 and the defendant was failing to top while travelling approximately 50-60mph."
Woollard then drove down Roker Street and the Seaburn Inn, both in Sunderland, at speeds of up to 60mph in 30mph zones.
He then drove the wrong way around a roundabout before coming to a halt when he reversed his car and collided with one of the police vehicles, causing minor damage.
He then sped off again and this time travelled at up to 70mph on another 30mph stretch of road.
The court heard that the pursuit eventually came to a stop when a police vehicle blocked him from going any further, despite his attempts at mounting the pavement.
Mr Pallister added that there was a struggle between the defendant and the officers before he was eventually arrested. He also failed to provide a roadside breath test.
Woollard, of Bywell Avenue, South Shields, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, having no insurance, no licence, and failing to provide a specimen.
Liam O'Brien, mitigating, said: "The defendant finds himself in a difficult position.
"He has a number of previous convictions including for driving offences but when one looks more closely at his record, it's clear his last offence he actually committed was five years ago.
"He made a foolish decision to help a friend by moving some things and that's why he was behind the wheel of a motor vehicle."
Judge Julie Clemitson told Woollard that immediate custody was the only possible outcome, but it would be the shortest possible sentence given his lack of offending since 2018.
The judge jailed him for eight months. She also banned him from driving for three years.