Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Chronicle Live
Chronicle Live
Sara Nichol & Rob Kennedy & David Huntley & Sam Volpe

Rogue North East drivers who have been caught drinking, racing away or even causing serious injury

Rogue drivers are a continual menace across the North East - and in recent months the sort of motorists we all dread being on the roads with have been caught in outrageous fashion behind the wheel.

Whether its driving drunk, flouting bans or causing injury to others, these shocking motorists have all been caught doing dastardly things.

Some of these individuals have been caught racing away from police officers, others have caused horrific injuries and been rightfully punished by the courts. Some are now behind bars, others avoided jail but were hit with severe fines or bans.

Read more: Connor Brown Trust supports fire service to install life-saving 'bleed kits' on walls of stations in Sunderland

Connor Poole

Connor Poole pictured at Newcastle Upon Tyne Combined Court Centre. (ChronicleLive)

Electrician Connor Poole, 27, was caught flouting his driving ban just minutes after getting behind the wheel of his father's car. He had been disqualified from driving after being caught drink-driving.

Despite this, he decided to take his dad's Ford Focus for a spin late one evening last month, a court was told. Uninsured Poole claimed he wanted to take the vehicle from his father's house to his own in order for his colleague and co-business owner to be able to use the following morning.

Prosecutors said that, just moments after getting behind the wheel, Poole was stopped by police. Now, Poole, of Clapham Avenue, in Walker, has been given a further 16 month-long ban after he appeared at Newcastle Magistrates' Court to plead guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance. He was also fined £566 and must pay £85 costs.

Connor Smith

Ashington Football Club Carpark, where Connor Smith was caught drink driving (Newcastle Chronicle)

Teacher Connor Smith admitted having five pints of Stella before getting behind the wheel at a Northumberland football club.

Smith was spotted by security getting into his BMW 1 Series in the car park at Ashington Community Football Club in the early hours of the morning and starting to reverse. A court heard, however, that the 28-year-old was prevented from leaving by security and the police were called.

Officers attended and spoke to Smith. He was arrested after failing a roadside breath test and later gave a reading of 109mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath when the legal limit is just 35mcg.

He pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court. He will, however, argue that, due to the shortness of distance he travelled, there are special reasons as to why he shouldn't be disqualified. A hearing to determine that argument will be heard on June 30, when Smith will also be sentenced.

Valentino Kucana

Valentino Kucana, jailed for dangerous driving (Northumbria Police)

A rogue motorist who led police on dangerous chase through the streets of Newcastle has been jailed. Illegal immigrant Valentino Kucana was behind the wheel of a BMW which was spotted driving erratically and when police tried to pull him over, he sparked a high speed chase during which he ran red lights before crashing.

Now Albanian Kucana, 28, of Redewater Road, Fenham, Newcastle, who has been "served with the relevant papers by Border Force", has been locked up for nine months for dangerous driving.

Newcastle Crown Court heard it was around 2.10am on March 3 this year that a police officer saw a black BMW driving erratically, speeding up then slowing down, on the A167, in Newcastle. When the officer indicated for it to pull over, Kucana initially slowed to 10mph before accelerating away onto Grandstand Road.

After reaching more than 60mph the car started to fish tail then drove through a red light on Barrack Road and sped through a 20mph residential area in Fenham. He crashed at a junction, then tried to escape on foot but was chased and arrested.

Kucana pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, having no insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and was jailed for nine months and banned from driving for two years.

Brian Quinn

Brian Quinn (northumbria police)

"Intoxicated" burglar who stole a car following a break-in was arrested after the vehicle ran out of petrol in Newcastle city centre.

Brian Quinn broke into a Gateshead home overnight between March 18 and 19 this year and stole a set of car keys belonging to a Vauxhall parked outside. The 44-year-old - who was banned from driving - then took off in the car, with police soon becoming aware of the theft.

Quinn - who was "intoxicated" and wearing a coat he'd taken from the home - then drove the car through Washington and along the A1 before travelling into Newcastle city centre and running out of petrol on St James' Boulevard. When he was arrested, he refused to provide a breath sample to police.

Earlier this month, Quinn, of Bentick Terrace, Newcastle, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court via link from HMP Durham to be sentenced for burglary, theft of a vehicle, driving whilst disqualified, failing to provide a sample and driving without insurance.

The court heard that overnight between March 18 and 19 this year, Quinn burgled a Gateshead home and took a coat and car keys belonging to a Vauxhall car which was parked outside.

Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, said that police later saw the car in Washington, before Quinn was seen travelling along the A1 and A184 roads. He then approached Newcastle city centre.

Quinn was jailed for two-and-a-half years and was banned from driving for four years.

Brett Miller

Brett Miller, jailed for causing serious injury by dangerous driving (Northumbria Police)

A driver who left a woman seriously injured in a head-on crash after dozing off at the wheel with a child in his car has been jailed.

Brett Miller, who had drugs in his system, knew he was struggling to stay awake almost an hour before his BMW drifted into oncoming traffic, leaving a woman coming the other way trapped in her car with multiple injuries.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 37-year-old, of Legion Road, Denton, Newcastle, who has previous convictions for driving offences involving crashes, picked a youngster around 6pm on December 5 2021. Around 9.20pm someone phoned Miller and his speech was slurred and he said he kept falling asleep at the wheel and that the youngster had to keep slapping him to wake him up.

Miller had been seen by witnesses on Fellside Road, Gateshead, driving towards Burnopfield in a BMW, which was seen to cross the white lines in the middle of the road and make no attempt to go back into the correct lane. He was also seen to be braking when there was no need to do so.

Anthony Midgley

A motor menace has avoided jail after clocking up his eighth conviction for breaching his driving ban.

Time and time again and despite being subject to lengthy disqualifications, Anthony Midgley has showed his contempt for court orders after repeatedly getting behind the wheel, sometimes even while drunk. Earlier this year, the 56-year-old has proved that he isn't getting wiser as he's gets older after he was once more caught driving a car.

A court heard that, on this occasion, Midgley was travelling in a Peugeot 207 when he narrowly avoided crashing into a marked police car. Subsequent checks by officers quickly revealed that he was a banned driver and had a lengthy record for not adhering to his bans.

Now, Midgley, of Denton Gate, in Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle, has avoided jail by a "whisker" after he appeared at Newcastle Magistrates' Court to plead guilty to driving while disqualified and driving with no insurance. Instead, he was given an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £154 victim surcharge. He was also banned from the roads for 31 months.

Niamh Reading, prosecuting, said officers were on patrol at around 1pm on February 18 this year when they got asked to attend Newbiggin Lane, in Newcastle. On arrival, they spoke to other constables, who had stopped Midgley in his Peugeot.


Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.