Four are sentenced after leaving pedestrian for dead in joy ride

The aftermath of the police chase which saw the car crash into a Mercedes on North Shields Fish Quay. Picture by Adrian Don.
The aftermath of the police chase which saw the car crash into a Mercedes on North Shields Fish Quay. Picture by Adrian Don.

Four people have been sentenced after a high speed joy ride which saw a pensioner left for dead.

The quartet had been in a car stolen from Newcastle before leaving a trail of destruction around North Shields in April last year.

Colin Gorman, Gary Shackleton and Louis Jardine took the Proton car from an address in the West End of Newcastle.

Appearing at Newcastle Crown Court, the men – joined by front seat passenger Jade Stewart – then drove to North Shields where they collided with a 72-year-old pedestrian and left him for dead on a zebra crossing.

All of them were under the influence of drink and drugs, and their joy ride saw them drive the wrong way down Tynemouth high street, and then down onto North Shields Fish Quay where they crashed into another vehicle, causing significant damage to both cars.

The four then abandoned the vehicle and fled the area.

The court heard that Northumbria Police’s Op Dragoon launched an extensive investigation which lead to the identification of those responsible for the incident.

However, prosecutors were unable to prove who was driving the car so all escaped a sentence for a more serious crime of causing grievous bodily harm.

Gorman, 29, of Mill House, Newcastle, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, failing to provide a breath specimen, failing to stop and having no licence or insurance. He was jailed for 15 months and banned from driving for four years.

Shackleton, 29, of Canning Street, Benwell, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated vehicle taking and was jailed for eight months.

Jardine, 23, of Aden Place, Slatyford, Newcastle, admitted two counts of aggravated vehicle taking and was given nine months suspended for 12 months.

Stewart, 21, of Gill Street, Benwell, admitted two counts of aggravated vehicle taking and was given a 12 month community order with a two month curfew.

Speaking after the case, Chief Inspector John Heckels, of the Operations department, said: “I am glad the judge has seen it fit to hand down some custodial sentences and that we have been able to take these people off our roads.

“Even when they had been identified as being in the car that morning they refused to co-operate with police and they put the victims in this case through the ordeal of a trial.

“Their actions that day were irresponsible and dangerous. They could have quite easily killed somebody and I am just glad I am not here today having to offer my condolences to another grieving family.”

Northumbria Police have been running Operation Dragoon since summer 2014 and has had a huge impact on making the region’s roads a safer place.

They have secured hundreds of convictions after targetting dangerous drivers in the north east by gathering intelligence from our local communities.

If you suspect anyone of breaking the law or driving dangerously then contact the team by calling 101.