Watch the danger driver who waited in Sunderland car park to steal woman's car before leading police on high-speed chase through Wearside

A danger driver who led police on a high-speed chase around Wearside has been jailed.

Police dashcam footage shows Connor Atkinson fleeing in a stolen vehicle and reaching speeds of 90mph in a 30 zone.

At one point, the serial criminal swerved onto the wrong side of the road and ran through red lights, before crashing and attempting to hop a fence while trying to evade his pursuers.

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Today (Thursday, November 24), the 21-year-old – who has eight previous convictions for 30 offences – was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court after pleading guilty to robbery, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, theft, attempted theft and driving without insurance.

Connor Atkinson, 21, of of Aberdeen Tower, Sunderland, was jailed for four years, plus a two year extended licence period, after pleading guilty to robbery, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, theft, attempted theft and driving without insurance.
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Hours before the footage was shot, the robber approached a woman arriving home and told her: "Give me the keys or I will stab you."

Atkinson, of Aberdeen Tower, Sunderland, had waited in a residential car park for someone to return home so he could steal the vehicle – a SEAT worth about £5,000 - on June 8 this year.

Matthew Hopkins, prosecuting, said the victim was reversing into a parking space near her home in Sunderland when approached her.

Newcastle Crown Court heard she “got out of her car and ran” after being threatened by Atkinson, who reportedly shouted after her “don't call the police or I will stab and kill you".

At 11.45pm that evening, the defendant was spotted unscrewing the licence plates off two other vehicles, although he only managed to take one.

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Atkinson, who was disqualified from driving at the time, was caught by police driving the vehicle and led them on a high speed chase reaching 68mph in a 20mph zone and 90mph in a 30 zone.

The court heard he drove on the wrong side of the road, drove the wrong way around roundabouts and sped through red lights, before crashing into another car, writing off both vehicles and leaving the man he collided with was "bleeding and in shock".

In a victim impact statement, the robbery victim said her ordeal had left her with ”serious social anxiety” and had even considered moving home she was “so scared of the threats that the defendant made".

The man Atkinson crashed into suffered shoulder damage and now often wakes up in pain.

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Vic Laffey, defending, called Atkinson a "very young man with quite significant problems of his own", with the court also told Atkinson has moderate learning difficulties and a low IQ.

He added: "He accepts that the situation developed in a way that was extremely serious. He is able to see the problems that he caused."

He told the court that he had heard shocking news before committing his crimes which sent him over the edge and that he was "feeling suicidal" at the time.

Summing up Mr Recorder N Adams told Atkinson: "The totality of your conduct over this night, back in June, is of significant concern and a great degree of seriousness.

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"You ended this chase by deliberately crashing into a vehicle driven by a member of the public."

Atkinson was jailed for four years plus a two year extended licence period.

He must also pay a £190 victim surcharge and has been banned from driving for seven and a half years.