WATCH: Joyrider flips car stolen from Ashington during police chase
A joyrider has been jailed after he flipped a car he stole from Ashington during a police pursuit down the A1.
Darren Lee, 43, had been drinking at a family party in July when he returned home with his then partner, but later that evening she confronted him after seeing he was sat alone in her Vauxhall Tigra.
When she asked him what he was doing, he then drove away from the house in Ashington, leading her to call the police.
Officers traced Lee just minutes later and signalled for him to pull over - but he refused and a pursuit began. He then led traffic officers on a dangerous police chase during which he hit speeds of 85mph.
On the A1 near Gosforth Park, officers surrounded the vehicle to bring him to a stop. Lee tried to escape, but he ended up losing control and flipping the Tigra.
He was not seriously injured and placed under arrest by police before being charged with a string of driving offences. He admitted dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, having no insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.
Now Lee, of Eshott Court, West Denton, Newcastle, is behind bars after being jailed for 12 months by a judge. Lee, who has previous convictions for driving offences, was also banned from driving for four years.
Following the case, Northumbria Police has released footage of the chase and said it is lucky that nobody was killed.
Motor Patrols Inspector, Ian Dey, said: "This driving was incredibly reckless and even more dangerous when you consider that this man had been drinking.
"Not only did he put his own life at risk when he got behind the wheel of that car, but he also endangered our officers and other road users.
"The footage is quite shocking and he is incredibly lucky that he was able to walk away from the crash without any serious injuries.
"He will now spend the next year behind bars and has also been handed an extended driving ban to keep him off the road.”