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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Learner driver banned from roads for SEVENTH time after dangerous police chase through 20mph estates

A motorist with no licence or insurance bought himself a car - then led police on a dangerous chase through Hartlepool.

John Robinson has already been banned from the roads six times before he refused to pull over on Eskdale Road, on January 12. Teesside Crown Court has heard that police described the 37-year-old as "looking away nervously" when they spotted him in a Vauxhall Astra at around 5pm.

When the car was found to be uninsured, PC Ellis Hayes indicated for Robinson to pull over. But he accelerated down Catcote Road, swerving to avoid other cars, onto Macaulay Road.

On Monday, Tabitha Buck, prosecuting, told the court that other drivers had to brake to avoid crashing into Robinson, as he hurtled down Chesterton Road and onto Masefield Road. He reached speeds of 60mph in a 20mph zone as he raced through Brierton and Rift House neighbourhoods.

Eventually Robinson drove into a dead end on Lewis Grove and he ran out of his Astra, onto Sinclair Road. He was arrested soon afterwards, in a neighbouring garden.

Robinson, of Pinero Grove in Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving; and driving with no licence or insurance. The Middlesbrough court heard that he has a provisional licence and that there were no L-plates on his Astra.

He has been disqualified from driving six times before and convicted of dangerous driving five times. Robinson also has a conviction for taking a vehicle without consent.

Calum McNicholas, mitigating, said that his client has a "long, tragic history". "He was in social care and more recently, his aunt passed away," the barrister added.

"It was his aunt who was the person who brought him out of social care. They were very, very close and it was her death that triggered this offending."

Mr McNicholas said that Robinson acts as a full-time carer to his wife, who is in and out of hospital; and to his two children, when his wife is too unwell to look after them.

Judge Nathan Moxon told Robinson that he has a "truly horrendous" criminal record, and that he had bought the car "despite not being permitted to drive it".

He said: "You have told probation that you are remorseful. I do not accept that because you keep doing the same thing."

The judge said that the court would not "entertain you using your partner's health problems as a shield to avoid custody" but that "the prisons are full and you have shown compliance with court orders in the past".

Robinson was handed a 10-month prison term, suspended for 15-months. He must attend 25-rehabilitation days. He was disqualified from driving for three years.

"You should know that you are walking a tight rope," the judge continued, "one false move, and you will go to prison."

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