Sunderland car thief smashed through fence and mounted pavement during police chase

Stevie Todd
Stevie Todd
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A MOTORING menace led police on a chase during which he smashed through a fence, mounted pavements and drove on the wrong side of the road in a stolen car.

Stevie Todd was banned from driving when he stole the Toyota Yaris from Thorney Close, before driving across the Farringdon and Grindon estates in Sunderland.

The 21-year-old – who has been jailed for 10 months – was under the influence of drugs and alcohol during the pursuit.

CCTV played in Newcastle Crown Court showed Todd smashing through the low wooden fence while being tailed by two police cars. At one point, he careered on to two wheels on the footpath in his attempts to avoid capture.

Prosecutor Susan Hirst said: “The defendant drove the Yaris and he was pursued by police vehicles who activated their blue lights and sirens.

“During the course of this pursuit, he drove over pedestrian footpaths and grassed areas.

“At one point he drove through a low wooden fence, smashing it.

“He generally drove at speeds of under 30mph in 30mph zones, but at Greenwood Road he drove at 40mph on the 30mph road.

“He drove with two wheels on the nearby footpath. He travelled on the wrong side of the road.

“He then drove along another footpath before he eventually came to a stop voluntarily.

“The defendant was intoxicated and it transpired he had both drugs and alcohol in his system.”

The court heard that the front of the car was damaged and the near offside window was smashed during the chase in the early hours of the morning.

“The pursuit took place in a residential area, the roads were damp and the traffic was low,” added Miss Hirst.

“There were pedestrians in the area, but no one was forced to take evasive action as a result of the defendant’s driving.”

After his arrest, Todd said: “It’s theft by finding. I found it in Thorney.

“I needed the money. I’ve been in Durham for 15 months, what can I do?”

When the offence was committed, Todd was on licence for an attack in which he and two accomplices assaulted a dog walker with a brick before stamping on his head, leaving him with a fractured skull.

The court heard that Todd had 21 convictions.

Nigel Barnes, defending, said: “This was a man driving generally within the speed limit.

“He was not driving at very high speeds and he did stop when required.”

Todd, of Ancona Street, Pallion, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, driving whilst disqualified, dangerous driving and driving without insurance, all on February 2.

Judge Simon Hickey told him: “The CCTV shows the three estates you crossed over four and a half miles at one o’clock in the morning, crossing over each estate over the grassed area and at one point going through a wooden fence. You drove on footpaths and on the wrong side of the road.

“It’s the potential of driving dangerously and the potential of people stepping out that makes this such a dangerous offence.”

He was also disqualified from driving for three years.