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30 January 2015, 18:12
A reckless driver, from County Durham, who drove at speeds in excess of 90mph with a four-year-old child in his car before it flipped and landed in a field has been locked up for a year.
Dangerous driver Scott Tony Smith, who was disqualified from the roads, reached speeds of almost 100mph as he was pursued by police through Stanley, County Durham after being caught driving recklessly.
In footage shown to Durham Crown Court, Smith's MG Rover is seen weaving in and out of traffic on 30mph residential roads before speeding on to rural lanes where it flipped over a hedge and into a field after emerging from a T-junction at a dangerously high speed.
Smith, the four-year-old boy and a woman, who was also in the car, all escaped without major injuries despite the child not being seated in a secure child seat.
It was deemed a "miracle" that no one was seriously hurt.
Astonishingly when police arrested Smith, 23, he told them "It's your fault for putting pressure on me."
Joanne Kidd, prosecuting, told the court that the chase took place through the villages of The Middle and Craghead after police alerted Smith to their presence and asked him to pull over in South Stanley.
Ms Kidd said:
"The vehicle approaches a red light and mounts a kerb to avoid oncoming traffic on a restricted road where roadworks were taking place."
"It tried to turn left but it lost control after turning at a T-junction, almost going over and collided with a hedge and overturned into a field."
The astonishing footage captured the car flipping in the air before landing in a farm field.
Smith, of Pankhurst Place, Stanley, County Durham, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop for police, and a child cruelty charge.
Tim Finch, representing Smith, told the court that his client was limited in his verbal ability and suffered from an attention disorder.
"I do not seek for you to excuse him for this appalling piece of driving.
"He has attended special needs schools when he was younger and was bullied at schools where he was tied to trees and beaten with sticks."
"He would be one of those vulnerable inmates and he would be exposed to the type of incidents that the court knows so much about."
Judge Robert Adams sentenced Smith, who was also in breach of a suspended sentence, to 12 months in prison.
The judge told Smith:
"This is a bad offence, you drove when you knew you were disqualified and you knew there was a four-year-old in the car and that it was not properly restrained."
"You ignored the police car and it's sirens and flashing lights, you ignored the pleas of the woman in the car."
"You could have killed somebody, it was really a miracle you did not."