Dramatic video of "cocaine-fuelled" driver trying to lose police in pursuit

David Atkinson Credit: Northumbria Police

A "cocaine-fuelled" driver who sped through residential areas at nearly three times the legal limit to avoid police has been jailed.

David Atkinson led officers on a 20-minute pursuit around the streets of Sunderland after getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs.

Police said his "manner of driving was so perilous that it caused police to pull out of the pursuit twice" before they used a stinger to burst his tyres.

The 24-year-old man was detained on the A19 after hitting speeds of up to 80mph in 30mph limits.


On October 13 Atkinson admitted dangerous driving and associated offences when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.

A judge subsequently jailed him for 14 months as well as handing him a driving ban.


He showed a total disregard for the livelihood of families across Sunderland as he hurtled through residential streets at up to 80mph, narrowly avoiding collisions with other road users and even driving on the wrong side of the carriageway. His actions that night put lives in danger – and I’m pleased that he has now been convicted and has been handed a custodial sentence.

PC David Richardson, Northumbria Police

Atkinson, of Jacques Street, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, no insurance, failing to stop, driving under the influence of drugs, and possession of cocaine.

He was jailed for 14 months and handed a driving ban of three years and seven months.