Sunderland Mercedes driver sped at 108mph on wrong side of road in 'one of worst cases of driving ever'

A Mercedes driver described as a ‘young boy’ in a ‘fast car’ who sped at 108mph on the wrong side of a 30mph Wearside road has been spared jail – but warned he could have killed someone.

Monday, 26th October 2020, 11:09 am

His antics were described by a Northumbria Police collision investigator as “one of the worst cases of driving” he had ever seen.

Lee, of Merle Terrace, Pallion, Sunderland, was caught on the dashcam of a motorist he overtook at 6.10pm on Friday, August 23, 2019, and with the footage handed to police.

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Aaron Lee leaves South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

During his escapade, Lee went over a pedestrian crossing on the wrong side, causing an oncoming car to pull into the roadside.

District Judge Kathryn Meek told him his crime was so serious it merited a prison term.

She handed him a 26-week jail sentence, suspended for two years, and banned him from the roads for two years.

She told him: “I think there has to be a prison sentence.

Aaron Lee leaves South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

“The speed is so serious and the manoeuvre so dangerous, that you are extremely lucky to be sentenced here for dangerous driving rather than causing death by dangerous driving.

“I can take account of the fact that the offence was more than a year ago. I can take account of the good things that are said about you in the report. I’m just persuaded that it’s a suspended sentence.”

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard Lee hit the accelerator on a stretch of single lane carriageway between the Tesco superstore and the Grange pub.

Lee, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at a hearing at the same court in September, gave no explanation for his excessive speed other than being in a powerful vehicle.

Aaron Lee leaves South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Prosecutor Ben Woodward told the hearing: “A witness states that the defendant was driving at excessive speed and on the wrong side of the road, almost colliding with another vehicle.”

His solicitor Greg Flaxen admitted: “It’s a young boy, in his words, fast car.”

He added: “It’s a very difficult case to mitigate in the sense that, thankfully, there were no injuries and, thankfully, there was no damage caused.

“For the excessive speed, there was no excuse for it. He describes it himself as a ‘silly moment’.

“Thankfully it hasn’t ended with potentially the loss of life if somebody had stepped out in front of that car.

“He explained that the power of the car, he didn’t think that he was going that fast.

“He was a man of good character until he pleaded guilty.”

Judge Meek told Lee he would have to sit an extended driving test before he can expect to get his licence returned.

She also ordered jobless Lee, who the court heard planned to move to Yorkshire to live with his father, to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

He must also complete 25 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service and pay £85 court costs and a £121 victim surcharge.

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