A REPEATEDLY banned motorist, with a seeming contempt for court orders, is behind bars after his latest “atrocious” piece of driving.

Durham Crown Court heard that in his most recent motoring misdemeanour, Michael Martin, from Bury, led police on a dangerous high-speed chase at evening rush-hour on Monday, February 17.

Just 11 days after receiving a community sentence at magistrates’ court for driving while disqualified and with excess alcohol, Martin was back behind the wheel as police followed his Ford Mondeo off the A1(M) at Bradbury interchange, in County Durham, at 5.30pm.

As two police cars tried to block in the Mondeo at the Rushyford roundabout on the A689, Martin managed to squeeze the vehicle between the patrol cars and sped off southwards on the A167.

Jennifer Haigh, prosecuting, said the In the three-to-four minute chase that followed Martin reached speeds of up to 110 miles per hour, carried out dangerous overtaking manoeuvres, forcing oncoming motorists to swerve to avoid a collision and drove the wrong way round roundabouts.

But, trying to avoid a police stinger device between Ferryhill and Spennymoor, the Mondeo swerved across the road and struck the kerb on the opposite carriageway, throwing it into the air.

Martin was arrested but struggled and kicked out at officers trying to detain him.

When he was restrained and calmed, he told police: “I’m disqualified. I know, I’m sorry boys, I just panicked.”

The 34-year-old admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, without insurance and resisting police.

The court heard he has nine previous convictions for driving while disqualified, three for drink driving and one for dangerous driving.

Eddison Flint, mitigating, said his client is aware of the jeopardy he put himself in by his “reckless abandon”, and fears the impact of a prison sentence on his family, at this time, as his partner is a health worker with children.

Judge James Adkin told Martin: “It’s an absolute mercy that no-one was killed or seriously injured.

“The harm was the amazing risk of someone being killed driving at such grossly excessive speed, against the fact that you have such a dreadful driving record.”

Imposing a 16-month prison sentence, Judge Adkin also further banned Martin from driving for three years and eight months.