Watch: Carjacker leads police on high speed chase through residential areas of Sunderland

Connor Atkinson jumped red lights and drove the wrong way around roundabouts - at up to three times the legal speed limit. Credit: Northumbria Police

A carjacker has been jailed after jumping red lights and driving the wrong way around roundabouts - at up to three times the legal speed limit.

Connor Atkinson was sentenced to four years in prison and banned from the roads until 2030 after the incident in June.

Atkinson, 21, loitered in a car park in Sunderland at about 11pm before threatening to stab a woman unless she handed over her keys, a spokesperson for Northumbria Police said.

He then sped off in her car, later leading officers on a high-speed pursuit where he reached up to 90mph through residential areas.

After jumping another red light, while on the wrong side of the road, Atkinson crashed into the side of another car – injuring the driver – before trying to get away on foot.

Police have released footage of the chase.

  • Pictures from Northumbria Police.

Atkinson, of Aberdeen Tower, Sunderland, was detained nearby and later pleaded guilty to a string of offences including dangerous driving, robbery and driving while disqualified, theft of number plates, attempted theft of another set of number plates and driving without insurance.

On Thursday 24 November, he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court and was jailed for four years with an extended licence period of a further two years. He was also banned from driving for seven-and-a-half years.

Detective Constable Laura Branch, of Northumbria Police, said: “There is absolutely no excuse for Atkinson’s level of offending and I am pleased that the seriousness of his crimes have been reflected with this sentence.

“He showed a total disregard for his victim, who was left terrified after he threatened violence unless she handed over her keys.

“He then proceeded to swap the registration plates with ones that had been stolen in a bid to disguise his deception.

“After rousing further suspicion and being followed by police, Atkinson then endangered the lives of other road users as he drove 68mph in a 20mph zone and up to 90mph in a 30mph limit – as well as going the wrong way around two roundabouts and jumping a series of red lights.

“His irresponsible and dangerous behaviour behind the wheel left another driver injured – with both cars written off. Quite simply, it was a miracle that nobody died as a result of his actions.

“I would like to thank his victims for their cooperation and patience throughout this case, as well as the team of officers who showed outstanding dedication to track Atkinson and ensure he was brought to justice.

Det Con Branch added: “We all have a responsibility to drive in a careful and respectful manner in order to protect other road users.

“Atkinson showed he cannot be trusted to live in a lawful society and I sincerely hope he spends this period in jail to think carefully about how his actions can adversely affect others.”


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