Danger driver left friends trapped in crashed car as he fled police

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A danger driver who fled his crashed car and left three injured friends trapped inside is behind bars.

Michael Smith had already written-off a parked vehicle, crashed his Renault twice into another car and been involved in two police chases before the smash in the early hours of July 13.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 21-year-old, who had no licence or insurance to be behind the wheel of the Renault he had just bought for £180, decided to take it on the road with passengers because he was “unable to sleep”.

When the vehicle finally came to a halt at Hylton Dene in Sunderland, where he crashed into a tree, his three friends had to be cut out by the fire brigade and taken to hospital.

The most serious injury suffered among the trio was a dislocated shoulder.

Smith, of Cranleigh Road, Sunderland, admitted dangerous driving, having no insurance or licence and leaving the scene of an accident.

Judge John Milford sentenced him to 27 weeks behind bars and told him: “Your three passengers were injured, indeed they were trapped in the vehicle.

“You showed no concern for them but ran off.

“It was the fire brigade who had to extract them.”

The judge said Smith’s driving that day was “appalling” and added: “It could have had very serious consequences.”

Smith was banned from the roads for three years.

John Wilkinson, defending, said Smith was a “very inexperienced” driver who may have been “egged on” by the others in the car.

Smith has never been in trouble before and has found the time in custody on remand a “salutory experience”.