A dangerous driver collided with a car being driven by an 89-year-old woman as he tried to flee police during a chase.
Zenel Skenderaj was behind the wheel of a Range Rover Sport with no license or insurance and smelling of cannabis when police spotted him in the West End of Newcastle. Newcastle Crown Court heard officers were on Scotswood Bridge around 9pm on January 8 when the formed the view the car might have been on false plates.
After officers activated their lights and sirens to indicate for him to pull over, he initially appeared to be stopping but then sped off. As he overtook cars and drove into oncoming traffic, he struck the pensioner’s Vauxhall Corsa.
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Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, said: “She described being suddenly struck from behind by what she described as a big car. It struck the driver’s side of her door before overtaking her.
“She could see the vehicle was being pursued by the police. She was left shocked and upset by the driving. She was scared at what could have happened and felt somebody should not be on the road driving in that way.”
The Corsa was left scraped down the side but the pensioner didn’t claim on her insurance, fearing financial loss. Skenderaj also drove on the wrong side of the road and went the wrong way around a roundabout
Soon afterwards, Skenderaj abandoned the car and he and his passenger fled. However the police helicopter had been deployed and saw he had hidden under a vehicle.
He struggled with the police when he came out. The court heard he smelled strongly of cannabis and tested positive for it in a roadside saliva test but later refused a blood test.
Skenderaj, 23, of Strathmore Crescent, Benwell, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen, having no insurance and no license and resisting a police officer. He was jailed for 10 months and will be banned for two years following his release.
Jennifer Coxon, defending, said: “When he saw the blue lights he panicked. He acted impulsively without thinking about the wider consequences of his behavior.” Miss Coxon said Skenderaj, originally from Albania, had been in Newcastle for a year, has a long term partner and wishes to remain here.