Driver jailed for dangerous driving during pursuit

A banned driver who sped through residential areas at up to 90mph with switched off headlights has been jailed for 18 months.

James Boanson blacked out the lights of his Ford Mondeo three times during the high speed night chase through the streets of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

Durham Crown court heard how it was "a miracle" that no-one was injured.

Durham Crown Court. Credit: Tom Wilkinson/PA Archive/PA Images

Prosecutor Penny Bottomley told the court how police were alerted following a report of suspected drink-driving from Tesco at Newton Aycliffe at 9.40pm on September 30.

When he was spotted, Boanson started travelling at speed, overtaking vehicles on St Cuthbert’s Way, despite the blue lights and sirens of a police car in pursuit.

Miss Bottomley said: "The Mondeo entered Newton Aycliffe village, which has speed restrictions of 30mph. "Mr Boanson was travelling at 67mph."

The court heard at one stage during the seven minute chase, he entered the A1(M) at 91mph turned off the headlights to avoid detection.

The Mondeo was driven on country lanes towards Darlington and through a red light at 51mph.

Miss Bottomley said: "The officers was concerned about for the safety of vehicles driving in the other direction."

He entered a 40mph at 89mph before heading into a residential area.

Police were unable to follow Boanson when he went down a narrow street, but officers identified him from CCTV at Tesco and he was subsequently arrested.

Boanson, 28, of Hundens Lane, Darlington, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Eric Watson, mitigating, said: "It is miraculous no-one was injured.

"He accepts he only has himself to blame."

In January this year he was banned for a year for drink-driving and in June his disqualification was extended to three years for drug-driving.

Judge Simon Hickey said he would be banned for three years when he is released from prison on licence in nine months.

He will also have to undergo an extended driving test before he is allowed behind the wheel again.

The judge said: "This was an extremely bad piece of driving of dangerous driving.

"Using a motor car like this is extremely dangerous."