A teenager was kidnapped by a blood-soaked armed stranger who threatened to cut his head off as he waited in his car to pick up friends after a night out.
Liam Adamson, 18, was sitting in his black Corsa near the War Memorial Clock Tower in Easington Lane when Jason Hackett approached, with his face covered in blood and a 40cm machete in his hand.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 24-year-old initially offered the teenager £100 if he would give him a lift.
When his offer was refused, Hackett threatened Mr Adamson with a machete and warned "You are going to give me lift or I will cut your head off."
After forcing him to drive for a few minutes, Hackett forced his victim out of his own car and sped off.
Hackett was found, unconscious with a collapsed lung, after he crashed and badly damaged the car a short time later.
Prosecutor Paul Rowland told the court Hackett had got into the passenger seat after he threatened the teenager.
Mr Rowland said: "Liam Adamson could smell alcohol on his breath.
"The defendant forced his way into the passenger seat and ordered him to drive.
"It seems he was encouraging him to drive quickly. The defendant kept the machete in his hand and by his side."
The court heard after a few minutes, Hackett grabbed the steering wheel and forced the teen out of his own car.
Mr Adamson told police in a victim statement he was "petrified" during the incident and added: "I genuinely feared for my life and thought I was going to come by some serious injury."
Hackett, of High Newham Road, Hardwick, Stockton, pleaded guilty to kidnap, possessing an offensive weapon, driving while disqualified, aggravated vehicle taking and having no insurance.
Alex Bousfield, defending, said Hackett "can't recall what happened".
It remains unclear how or why Hackett was covered in blood when he approached the car.
Judge Stephen Earl jailed Hackett, who has a long criminal record including convictions for violence and motoring offences, for three years.
The judge told him: "You are a man who exercises serious violence on occasions.
"You have a disregard for vehicles or road users or yourself."