One-legged man in 130mph car chase

Police who gave chase to a powerful BMW in a 130mph pursuit were unaware that they were being outrun by a car being driven by a one-legged man.

When he was caught after evading police for three days, Dennis O'Brien, who lost his leg in a road accident just a few weeks previously, insisted that he had been the passenger. But Teesside magistrates' court heard that the 18-year-old, who had a previous motoring conviction despite never having held a licence, was behind the wheel.

O'Brien, of Thornaby-on-Tees, Stockton, pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated vehicle taking and driving while disqualified, dangerous driving, having no insurance and licence on 22 and 24 November, and also perverting the course of justice in March last year.

Nigel Soppitt, for the defence, said his client's life had been destroyed by the earlier accident, that he had tried to hang himself following his arrest and was having psychiatric treatment. Sentence was deferred for six months and O'Brien was given an interim driving ban.