Motorist jailed after driving on three wheels for 10 miles in Northumberland

News from the courts.
News from the courts.

A driver has been jailed for 10 months for dangerous driving and other offences after an incident in Coquetdale.

Michael Watson, 65, of Rydal Road, Gosforth, Newcastle, was also given a 23-month driving ban after he drove his car which had been badly damaged in a car crash.

Michael Watson

Michael Watson

The offence took place on December 13 last year after he crashed his Hyundai into a wall in Hepple, cracking his windscreen and causing one of the wheels to come off.

Watson drove off on three wheels and caught the attention of a passing police car on High Street in Rothbury. The officer saw the damaged vehicle and tried to pull the driver over, but he refused and drove off for 10 miles with officers following behind him at a safe distance.

Watson appeared before Newcastle Crown Court last Thursday, where he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, having no insurance, failing to stop and possessing a hunting knife found in his car.

Neighbourhood Inspector Liz Hall said: "Officers were astonished to see a car being driven on three wheels and they could hear the sound of grinding metal, sparks were coming off it and debris was falling from the car, which was clearly not in a fit state to be driven. But still the driver persisted on continuing despite all this.

"We're pleased that the court has handed down a custodial sentence as it shows the severity of the offence. Watson's actions meant he posed a road-safety threat to himself and any other road users he encountered over a prolonged distance.

"This unusual case reminds drivers that road safety is the responsibility of anyone who uses our roads and it's important that any motorist makes sure their vehicle is road worthy at all times.

"Watson will now be firmly on the radar of our Op Dragoon team and they will be ready to act if he continues to disregard the importance of road safety if he ever gets back behind the wheel."