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Driver dials 999 during Newcastle police chase and says 'abort or I'll drive off bridge'

Driver dials 999 during Newcastle police chase and says 'abort or I'll drive off bridge'

Published at 3:16pm 2nd August 2020. (Updated at 5:18pm 2nd August 2020)

A dangerous driver who rang 999 during a police pursuit and ordered the officers to stop following him could be facing jail.

Samuel Birch, 30, admitted a string of driving offences linked to the police chase in Newcastle on 29 March this year.

In footage, Birch is heard telling call handlers he had a "minor" in his silver Vauxhall Corsa and would drive off a bridge if they didn't "abort the chase now".

He was also seeing driving on the wrong side of the road, ignoring red lights and holding his phone out of the window, which officers said was a tactic to record the pursuit.

The call handler tells Birch to pull over but he refuses, accelerating the vehicle and ending the call.

Birch was stopped moments later outside St James' Park, where officers found that there was no child with him, as he claimed.

During a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court on Thursday, he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop and two unrelated counts of malicious communications, Northumbria Police said.

Following the guilty pleas, PC Darren Lant said: "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."

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The officer added: "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, of Ashington, was released on bail and banned from driving until his sentencing hearing on 21 December.

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