Middlesbrough man who drove along Whitby pavement - forcing people to dive for cover - is jailed (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Middlesbrough man who drove along Whitby pavement - forcing people to dive for cover - is jailed
A MAN who rammed a police car and made 15 people dive for cover as he sped along a pavement at the heart of a seaside resort has been jailed.
Police officers suspected Jeffrey O’Connell, 30, of Saltersgill Avenue, Middlesbrough, could have been drink-driving when they told him to stop and pull over on Pier Road, Whitby.
Instead, O’Connell drove a silver Audi into a police car, did a three-point turn and attempted to escape by driving in the wrong direction along the one-way street, at 8.30pm on Saturday, March 16.
York Crown Court heard in an effort to evade chasing police O'Connell mounted the pavement on the road which features fish and chip shops and amusement arcades.
The court was told dozens of people were on the pavement and 15 people were forced to jump out of the way of O'Connell's car.
He then smashed into a seating area outside Harry’s Bar, causing £2,000-worth of damage.
The Audi was later found abandoned on nearby John Street.
During forensic examinations of the vehicle, officers found O’Connell’s DNA on the driver’s door and he was later arrested.
After pleading guilty dangerous driving, driving without a licence, driving with no insurance and failing to stop for police, O'Connell was jailed for a year and banned from driving for 18 months.
Traffic Constable Paul Moon said: “O’Connell is extremely fortunate that he didn’t kill someone and isn’t facing a much longer prison sentence.
“What he did was completely reckless and he showed a blatant disregard for the safety of the general public."