Dangerous motorist calls police during high speed chase to tell them to stop chasing him

Image credit: Northumbria Police

A dangerous driver who led police on a high speed pursuit into Newcastle called 999 to make false claims that he had a child in the car, in an attempt to get the police vehicle to stop.

Samuel Birch is facing jail after admitting a string of driving offences linked to the police chase in the west end of the city on 29 March.

The pursuit was recorded on the police vehicle's dashcam.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how officers on patrol on Denton Road signalled for the 30-year-old to stop after observing him speeding in his silver Vauxhall Corsa.

But Birch, who was wanted by police for outstanding offences, refused to stop and slammed his foot on the accelerator.

He then led police on a dangerous pursuit during which he drove on the wrong-side of the road, ignored red lights and even put his phone out the window to film the pursuit.

As he headed in to Newcastle City Centre, Birch dialled 999 to order officers to “abort” the pursuit.

He told officers that if they did not stop following him then he would drive off a bridge – and that he had a “minor” in the car with him.

But the dangerous driver was the only occupant of the vehicle and moments later officers made contact with his vehicle and brought him to a stop outside St James’ park.

He was arrested and charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop and two unrelated counts of malicious communications offences for which he was wanted.

Birch, of Ashington, admitted the offences at Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday and faces jail when he is brought back before the court.

Following the case, investigating officer PC Darren Lant said the fugitive put lives at risk with his behaviour behind the wheel. He said: “From start to finish this was an appalling piece of driving that could have ended with a serious collision if Birch continued to drive into the city centre.

“He was speeding when he was spotted by officers and, knowing he was already wanted by police, he decided to take his chances in his pursuit.

“His behaviour behind the wheel after that was atrocious and he put lives at risk through his reckless attempts to avoid police.

“Not only did he break speed limits and run red lights, but he even tried to film pursuing officers by holding his mobile phone out the window.

“The fact he then tried to falsely claim he had a child on board says a lot about his character and I am glad we were able to bring the pursuit to a safe conclusion.

“People like Birch don’t deserve the right to be behind the wheel and he now faces a spell behind bars when he returns to court later this year.”

Birch was released on bail and banned from driving until his sentencing hearing at Newcastle Crown Court on 21 December.

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