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6ft 6in driver in knee-steering case jailed after crashing while fleeing police

Man crashed his car into a stationary bus and then an oncoming car as he tried to shake off officers in pursuit.

A 6ft 6in car dealer who drove a small convertible while standing up has been jailed for a separate case of dangerous driving after crashing as he sped away from police.

Adam Elliott, 26, smashed his Ford Galaxy into a stationary bus and then an oncoming car being driven by a woman travelling with her children aged four and nine as he tried to shake off officers who were in pursuit with blue lights flashing.

The incident happened in Gateshead four days before he was due to be sentenced for driving a convertible Ford Ka near the Tyne Bridge while sitting on the head rest, steering with his knees and waving to other motorists. He had initially claimed he was just too tall for the small car.

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Adam Elliott was jailed for 18 months after he admitted dangerous driving (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Judge Robert Adams was unaware of the latest crash when he handed Elliott a suspended sentence in March because the driver fled the scene, leaving a passenger there, and he was not arrested until May.

The judge activated some of the suspended sentence and jailed Elliott for a total of 18 months at Newcastle Crown Court after he admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Elliott, whose partner is pregnant, sacked his barrister and gave a lengthy statement via video-link from prison where he was being held on remand.

He said: “My love and passion for cars has now dwindled; they have caused me nothing but trouble and led me down a slippery slope, ending in disaster. That love has been replaced with a love for my child.”

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The judge activated some of the suspended sentence and jailed Elliott at Newcastle Crown Court (Hugh Macknight/PA)

Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, said Elliott accelerated away from the police and drove on the wrong side of the road before the collision. The woman he crashed into said Elliott had tried to get through a gap that did not exist between her vehicle and the bus.

Elliott, of Aldwick Road, Newcastle, apologised, saying he had been driving despite an interim ban because he was trying to sell a car before he was sentenced for the earlier incident in the Ford Ka.

He told the court: “There is no justification for my actions in this incident. I don’t want to try to justify them; what happened was wrong, it was a moment of foolishness.”

Judge Adams disqualified the defendant from driving for two years and nine months.

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