A man has today been given a suspended sentence and disqualified from driving after he drove at high speeds up Wensleydale while being chased by police.
21-year-old Finn Thomas Barker, of The Oval, Skipton, appeared at Teesside Crown Court after pleading guilty to driving without a licence, driving dangerously, possessing a Class B drug and driving without insurance.
Barker set off in the car around 9am on 2 February 2022, leaving Skipton and heading towards Catterick Garrison where the car was picked up on CCTV cameras.
Officers caught up with the vehicle shortly after on Leyburn Road and followed it for some time, observing Barker’s dangerous driving behaviour.
He was seen driving on the wrong side of the road, crossing the white lines in the middle, overtaking into oncoming traffic, driving into the middle of the road while over blind crests and constantly exceeding the speed limit.
He failed to stop and a stinger was deployed just outside the village of West Witton.
Both front tyres were blown but the vehicle continued and was brought to a stop using TPAC tactics at Swinithwaite.
Barker jumped out of the car and ran off across the countryside nearby.
Shortly after, he was found hiding in woodland and arrested.
A member of the public then alerted police to a laptop and some cannabis that had been discarded in a field close to where Barker was detained.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “Barker has shown a blatant disregard for the consequences of his actions. He continued to deny that he had been driving the vehicle despite clear evidence that there was only one occupant and finally changed his plea to guilty after months of pleading not guilty.
“When shown the footage of the pursuit, Barker laughed out loud, complimenting his ‘Stig-like driving manoeuvres’ and completely failed to show any remorse for the danger he put other motorists in.
“This type of behaviour will not be tolerated on our roads.”
Police said at the time that the car was involved in a number of near-misses with members of the public during the chase.
Barker was given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years and was disqualified from driving for three years.