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'You are going to kill someone': Judge's warning to Sunderland road menace as he is jailed

A road menace has been warned by a judge "you are going to kill someone" as he was locked up for his latest motoring offences.

By Karon Kelly
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 2:10 pm

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James Hart refused to pull over when police tried to stop him in a Saab in Elizabeth Street, Sunderland, last February and put the public at risk in his bid to get away.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he drove at twice the speed limit in a 30 zone, travelled in the central area of a dual carriageway which forced cars to move, swerved around other vehicles, accelerated through a retail park and mounted a kerb.

Prosecutor Ellen Wright told the court: "A police officer states he believes it was pure luck no-one was injured or any property damaged as a result of the incident."

James Hart.

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Miss Wright said the driving caused a "significant risk to the public".

Hart, 30, of Boddlewell House, East End, Sunderland, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.

The court head he has 16 previous convictions, which include offences of driving with excess alcohol, driving while disqualified and failing to stop.

Judge Tim Gittins told him: "You are going to kill someone or you are going to maim someone, even yourself."

Judge Gittins said the driving last February was "extremely serious offending" and told him: "It is, as the police rightly say, only good fortune that no-one was seriously hurt or killed."

Hart was sentenced to ten months behind bars with a three year driving ban and extended test requirement.

Kate Barnes, defending, said Hart had been taking the Saab for a test drive when he was seen by the police and "took off".

Miss Barnes said Hart has been doing volunteer work with the elderly had has set up a plastering business.