Sunderland danger driver jailed for 16 months

Danger driver Paul Clark has been jailed for 16 months
Danger driver Paul Clark has been jailed for 16 months
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A "stupid" danger driver who crashed into a police car and almost ran over and officer during a chase has been put behind bars.

Officer started pursuing Paul Clark's Ford Focus when witnesses saw two men taking turns to drive the car the wrong way around a roundabout at Hylton Road, Sunderland.

During a chase around the city, lasting more than two hours, the 26-year-old, who was already banned from the roads, drove over a concrete central reservation, the wrong way along Premier Road - where he crashed into one police car and almost hit another - and the wrong way around another roundabout at Silksworth Lane.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Clark took his car-off road in a bid to get away from police and during the chase he crashed into a roundabout at Ryhope.

When police on foot tried to get him out of the car after the smash, he moved revved the engine and made off at speed.

Prosecutor Vince Ward told the court: "He almost ran one police officer over."

Clark, of no fixed address, was arrested when he eventually brought the car to a stop, in the early hours of April 13, and a police dog was sent in to assist in his apprehension.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.

Miss Recorder Sarah Mallett sentenced him to 16 months behind bars with an 18 month road ban.

The judge told him: "You risked causing significant harm to police officers on foot when you were trying to get away.

"The description of the events makes clear the risk you caused of significant harm to one or other of those police officers was high.

"It was over a sustained period of time. It was a very, very determined period of driving."

The court heard no injuries were caused to anyone by Clark's driving but a police car was damaged.

Clark has 63 previous convictions, which include driving offences.

Nicholas Lane, defending, said: "He accepts his behaviour on this evening was nothing short of stupid".

Mr Lane said Clark had split from his long-term girlfriend at the time and had bought the car just days before the chase.

Mr Lane added: "If he is to become the responsible member of society he wishes to be, he must grasp his valium use."