Sunderland danger driver sped at 100mph down wrong carriageway of A690
A dangerous driver who sped the wrong way down a dual carriageway in an attempt to escape a dramatic pursuit has been jailed.
Uninsured Scott Wilson caught the attention of police when driving past an on-duty officer whilst driving a car that he had taken without the owner's consent.
The 28-year-old then "panicked" and took off at speed from New Herrington, Sunderland, down the A690 on the wrong side of the dual carriageway - where he narrowly missed smashing into a second police car which was travelling in the opposite direction.
A chase then ensued and Wilson took a turn through Houghton towards Durham - reaching speeds of 110mph in 50 zones - on April 4 last year.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how the police cars stopped pursuing him as it was "too dangerous" and a police helicopter then watched Wilson return to an address in The Broadway, in Sunderland, where he was arrested.
Prosecutor Rachel Masters told the court: "Officers were aware that the Mitsubishi Lancer passed them.
"The officer turned his vehicle around and the Mitsubishi made off at high speed on the A690.
"It drove at high speed on the wrong side of the road - the speeds were double the limit.
"The defendant was driving at speeds of 70 miles per hour as he left New Herrington.
"He drove down the wrong carriageway of the A690. The police officer decided to abort this as the manner of driving was to dangerous.
"I am not clear how the defendant got to be on the wrong side of the carriageway.
"Whether he was aware of the officers at first I am not clear."
Wilson, of Palmerston Road, Pennywell, admitted charges of dangerous driving, taking a vehicle without consent, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.
The defendant, who has previous convictions for offences including dangerous driving and criminal damage, was on bail when he committed these offences.
Vic Laffey, defending, told the court how his client suffers from Aspergers Syndrome - adding that it was "luck rather than good judgement" than no-one was hurt.
He said: "It is difficult to mitigate when if he stopped when he seen the police officer, he would have ended up with some relatively minor convictions.
"In not doing so he ended up with serious offences that were unnecessary.
"He was in a relationship with a lady and that relationship lasted between 15 and 17 years.
"That relationship broke down in January this year and as a result he in his own words went into a dramatically downward spiral.
"Everything went completely off the rails. He stopped taking his medication. He makes no excuse because he knows he acted in a deplorable fashion.
"He is under no illusions of what might happen today."
Jailing him for 15 months, Recorder Andrew Dallas said: "You did this at a time when you in your own confession had completely gone off the rails.
"The driving was appalling and it was highly dangerous. You drove at appallingly high speeds. The most serious fact was that you drove for a considerable period while trying to escapee from police on the wrong way on a dual carriageway.
"That was life threatening to others. It is a miracle that no-one was killed or injured as a result of your driving.
"The danger to yourself and other people was immense. Your approach into Durham was extremely disturbing to look at."
Wilson has also been disqualified from driving for two years after his release.