Court hears dangerous driver jumped out of his moving car to get away from police officers

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The car continued along the road at 30 miles per hour and crashed into a lamppost. 

A danger driver jumped out of a moving car in a bid to get away from the police.  Officers spotted Callum Ridley behind the wheel of a BMW that was registered as being off road on January 13 last year. 

Newcastle Crown Court heard Ridley refused to pull over, went through a red light, travelled on the wrong side of the road at almost double the 30mph speed limit and forced other road users to take evasive action to avoid a crash. 

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He then jumped out of the vehicle, which continued along the road and crashed into a lamppost. 

A judge said it was "extremely fortunate" no serious accident was caused. 

Prosecutor Rachel Butt told the court police had noticed the car when Ridley dropped off a passenger at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. 

Miss Butt said the car was followed and added: "The defendant suddenly swerved the vehicle onto the opposite side of the road, through a red light and caused other cars to brake. 

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"The officers illuminated their lights and signalled for him to stop but he failed to do so. 

"He continued to drive, on the wrong side of the road, towards oncoming traffic. 

"The officers describe the defendant driving at speeds towards double the 30mph limit. 

"He then travelled down a hill and manouvered a corner at speed and caused other road users to take evasive action

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"He jumped out and ran off onto a grassed area. He was detained by one of the officers. 

"The defendant failed to put the handbrake on the vehicle, which resulted in it colliding with a lamppost." 

The court heard the car, lamppost and a fence were damaged. 

Ridley, 25, of Marne Street, Shiney Row, Sunderland, admitted dangerous driving and possessing a small amount of cannabis found when he was arrested. 

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Judge Gavin Doig told him: "You drove on the wrong side of the road, went through a red light, you could have so easily caused a serious accident, it's extremely fortunate you did not. 

"You jumped out of the vehicle while it was still moving and tried to get away, the vehicle carried on down the road. 

"It could easily have hit a pedestrian. It collided with a lamppost and caused damage to the lamppost, the car itself and a fence."

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Judge Doig said Ridley is on "thin ice but has not quite fallen through yet" and sentenced him to 12 months suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements, 150 hours unpaid work and a 12 months road ban with extended test. 

The court heard Ridley, who has no driving convictions on his record, had used the car, which belonged to a friend, to take his passenger to hospital "urgently". 

Andrew Espley, defending, said the pursuit was not over a long period.