Sunderland motor-menace who fled from court before his case finished jailed for 12 weeks in his absence

A fleet-footed motoring menace showed a court a clean pair of heels by fleeing before he could be jailed for driving over the limit while banned.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 7:00 am

Ryan Stoker, 31, did not hang around to hear justice done and to discover he was being put behind bars for 12 weeks.

Stoker scarpered after being allowed into a waiting area at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court when his case was temporarily adjourned.

He now faces arrest and imprisonment – and he was also handed a driving ban that will keep him off the roads until March 2024.

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South Tyneside Law Courts. Picture by FRANK REID.

The court heard he was pulled over by police in Reed Street, South Shields, on New Year’s Day.

After being detained, officers discovered he had no insurance – and Stoker, of Brockley Street, Town End Farm, Sunderland, also stunk of booze.

A breath test showed Stoker, who has a string of similar offences, including a 2014 drink-drive conviction, was almost twice the limit.

Prosecutor Grace Taylor said: “Officers had cause to stop the defendant’s vehicle and speak to him. He was arrested for an unrelated matter.

“As a result of further inquiries, it was found the defendant was disqualified from driving, and he had no insurance.

“The officers then noticed that he smelled of intoxicating liquor. He was taken to a police station, where the CAMIC procedure was done.”

Stoker gave a breath test reading of 67mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

He pleaded guilty to drink-driving, driving while disqualified – following a ban in November - and driving without insurance.

Angus Westgarth, defending, said Stoker had got in the Ford Focus to escape a family argument and had driven to South Shields.

He said his client had been largely out of trouble for seven years, and urged District Judge Kathryn Meek to spare him jail.

But she sentenced him to 12 weeks for driving while banned and to six weeks for drink-driving, to run concurrently.

He was also banned from driving for three years and six weeks, and must pay a £128 victim surcharge.

There was no separate penalty for driving without insurance.

The court heard Stoker is due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court in April after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud and one of criminal damage.

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