South Tyneside learner driver flips car while trying to escape police

A learner driver has been spared jail for crashing and flipping his car during a police chase.

Caydon Sean was not qualified and uninsured when police tried to pull him over in an Audi A3 on 2 May this year

He panicked and tried to flee leading to a high-speed pursuit, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Officers pulled out of the rush hour chase due to the risk to the public but Sean ended up flipping the car onto its roof as he tried to get past a queue of cars. It eventually came to rest on its side and Sean ran away with a passenger, leaving his passport behind in the vehicle.

The 19-year-old, who claimed he was a competent driver, has now been handed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with 120 hours unpaid work at a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court. He was also handed an 18-month driving ban and must pass an extended test to drive legally.

Caydon Sean flipped the Audi after crashing into a queue of cars. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

The court heard that officers on duty on Church Bank in Jarrow spotted a silver Audi A3 which drew their suspicions as it was linked to various insurance policies, including one in London. They tried to pull it over but Sean fled the scene, sparking a chase.

Lucy Todd, prosecuting, said: "The officers pursued the vehicle for a significant length of time given the speeds he was going at. It frequently entered the wrong side of the road and overtook members of the public."

Sean reached speeds of 60mph on a 30mph road while he hit 80mph while driving on a 40mph dual carriageway. He made numerous dangerous overtake attempts and ignored traffic lights. He also clipped another vehicle's wing mirror and narrowly missed a cyclist.

Police attempts were made to use a stinger on the car but could not do so safely and the pursuit was called off. Then, around 4:50pm, in Temple Town, South Shields, as he tried to overtake a queue of traffic, he crashed and overturned his car before fleeing along with a passenger.

However, Sean left his passport in the car and a few days later rang police to confess he had been driving it with only a provisional licence.

Sean, from South Shields, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and having no insurance before he was sentenced on Wednesday 13 September.

Recorder Caroline Sellars told him: "I was dismayed having watched the footage and read in the pre-sentence report that you consider yourself to be a competent driver.

"I genuinely hope when you watch that footage you realise how idiotic that lie sounds. You have absolutely lots to learn."

Robin Turton, defending, said Sean is immature and vulnerable and had a traumatic childhood, with his mum subjected to violence and them having to move. He added: "He is a decent young man with the best of intentions who has made mistakes. He has genuine remorse."

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