Footage shows teenager driving a stolen car being rammed into railings by police in Gosforth

A teenager who led police on a dangerous high speed pursuit which put dozens of lives at risk and ended in him having to be rammed into railings has been jailed.

On April 22 this year a police pursuit started around 11.50am on Jubilee Road, Coxlodge, Gosforth and it continued down Wansbeck Road and onto the Great North Road. Thomas Humphries, 19, was driving a stolen BMW 1 series and the chase lasted around eight minutes.

Mark Atkins, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court: "He drove dangerously and repeatedly drove in excess of the speed limit, at times in residential areas at more than the 30mph speed limit with traffic control measures in place. and did between 50 and 60mph.

"He repeatedly inappropriately overtook vehicles and at one point overtook a queue of vehicles stationary at a red light. He ignored the red light and traffic turning right had to stop to led the police proceed.

"He drove on the opposite side of the carriageway numerous times and turned right using the wrong side of the road into the path of oncoming vehicles."

The pursuit headed towards Gosforth High Street and at some point he clipped a kerb and caused one of his tyres to blow out. However he continued and police had to crash into him to stop him. Initially it didn't work but the police then used their car to push him into some railings, causing damage to the police car and railings.

Humphries, of Laith Road, Kenton, Newcastle, who only had a provisional licence, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving without insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence. The 19-year-old, who has no previous convictions, was sent to a young offenders institution for 14 months and will be banned from driving for two years when he is released.

Judge Gavin Doig said he had watched the footage of the chase and branded it a "disgraceful piece of driving". He told Humphries: "You endangered the lives of dozens of other residents of Newcastle.

Thomas Humphries, locked up for dangerous driving
Thomas Humphries, locked up for dangerous driving -Credit:Northumbria Police

"You overtook vehicles dangerously on many many occasions. You overtook cars on the wrong side of the road, completely blind, and you were driving well in excess of the speed limit.

"You ignored multiple red lights, overtook streams of traffic on the wrong side of the road and oncoming traffic had to take evasive action." The judge said the contact with police cars caused thousands of pounds of damage and that Council Tax payers would have to foot the bill for the railings repairs.

He added: "It's difficult to imagine a more serious example of dangerous driving other than where injury was caused. You made a deliberate decision to ignore the rules of the road. This was a prolonged, persistent, sustained piece of dangerous driving.

"This was such an appalling piece of dangerous driving and so many residents were endangered only immediate custody is appropriate."

Tony Cornberg, defending, said: "He is of previous good character. On this day he was offered the opportunity to drive a car that was not his.

"It was disgraceful driving and he is rightly ashamed of it."