Sunderland road menace jailed for 14 months

Jailed, Anthony Wilkinson
Jailed, Anthony Wilkinson

A road menace has been jailed after clocking up his fourth conviction for dangerous driving - despite never having a licence.

Anthony Wilkinson has now been banned from driving for five-and-a-half years, even though he has never passed a test.

The 31-year-old, who has 145 previous convictions for a variety of offences, had been arrested on May 4 after sparking a police chase when he borrowed his friends car for a trip to the shop.

Wilkinson, who was more than twice the drink-drive limit, had no licence or insurance for the Renault Clio, which he was seen driving on Havelock Court in Sunderland by officers on patrol.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told Newcastle Crown Court: "He accelerated away, in excess of the speed limit.

"The officer followed and illuminated his lights and sirens.

"He failed to stop and the officer describes how the vehicle was travelling at between 40 and 60mph in a 30mph zone, a residential area.

"The officer states at various junctions the vehicle failed to slow or give way to traffic.

"During the course of the pursuit, the vehicle clipped kerbs, mounted pavements.

"He contravened red traffic lights.

"He caused other motorists to brake to avoid collisions."

The court heard Wilkinson eventually surrendered when the police helicopter joined the chase.

Wilkinson, of Whitehall Terrace, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving with excess alcohol, having no licence and having no insurance.

He was on a suspended sentence for handling a stolen Nissan Juke worth £9,000 at the time.

Mr Recorder Duncan Smith sentenced him to 14 months behind bars with a five and a half year driving ban.

The judge told him: "This is your fourth conviction for dangerous driving.

"Thankfully no-one was hurt or killed.

"You are someone who has never passed a driving test.

"The future, so far as driving is concerned, is looking pretty bleak but that is the best safeguard I can put in place to protect members of the public

from your impulsive behaviour.

"Every time you take out a car when you are drunk you increase the risk of an accident. Every time there is an accident, it increases the risk of death

or serious harm.

"That is when sentences start to go into double figures."

The court heard Wilkinson is now in a settled relationship and plans a future away from drink, drugs and crime so he can be with his family and has

recently found out he is to become a father.