Dangerous driver jailed after high speed chase
A dangerous driver who led police on a high-speed chase and drove the wrong way down a busy dual carriageway has been jailed.
Matthew Nickells was jailed for a year following the police chase last August.
The 23-year-old had been signalled by police to pull over after a report he may have been drinking, but he sped off, driving at more than twice the speed limit through a residential estate before reaching the A19.
During the pursuit, Nickells rammed the police cars with his Ford Ka before being spun around and driving the wrong-way down the dual carriageway.
He eventually came to a stop a short time later where he was arrested and taken in to police custody where he refused to give a sample.
At Newcastle Crown Court on October 30, Nickells, of Housesteads, Wallsend, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving whilst unfit through drink, failing to provide a specimen, driving without a licence, no insurance and failing to surrender to police.
However, he failed to turn up for his sentencing. After a warrant was issued, Nickells eventually handed himself in on January 23 and he was jailed for 12 months.
After the hearing, Pc Marc Lennox, of Northumbria Police’s Motor Patrols Department, said: “This was an atrocious example of speeding and Nickells is lucky that nobody was killed because of his actions.
“He has driven at more than double the speed limit in quiet, residential areas before driving head on into traffic on one of the region’s busiest roads.
“When he was arrested he told police that he didn’t know we wanted him to stop which is farcical and proves what an arrogant individual he really is.
“After eventually admitting to his crimes, he then failed to turn up at court and told police who were looking for him that he didn’t know he was wanted.
“I am glad to see him put behind bars and hope that the sentence sends a strong message to anyone who wants to behave in this way.
“If you get behind the wheel you have a responsibility to other road users and if you ignore that responsibility then you face being sent to prison.”
Nickells was also handed a two-year driving ban to start on his release from prison and made to pay a victim surcharge of £149.