Dangerous drivers who have killed and ruined lives on North East roads

These are some of the most dangerous drivers in the North East who have killed and ruined lives after getting behind the wheel.

Their actions can often result in some of the most emotional cases to come before the courts and can destroy the lives of victims’ families.

Offenders in this article include individuals responsible for the deaths of innocent bystanders and passengers, cowardly hit-and-run motorists and drivers leading police on high-speed chases.

Go here for the latest reports and live updates from North East courts

Here are some examples of shocking driving which caused death, and led to those responsible being put behind bars.

Bradley Webb

Bradley Webb who was jailed for causing death by dangerous driving
Bradley Webb who was jailed for causing death by dangerous driving
(Image: Northumbria Police)

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Bradley Webb was begged to stop by Paula Tiffin in the moments before her death.

The mum-of-11 was travelling in the front passenger seat in the 25-year-old’s car when he smashed into a wall as he tried to flee police.

She died from the catastrophic injuries she suffered while close friend Diane Coffell, who was in the back of the car, also suffered serious injuries.

The court heard how Webb, who has never held a driving licence and had no insurance, was behind the wheel of a Renault Megane he had recently purchased for just £50 when the tragedy unfolded.

The car was spotted by police in the Carrville area of Durham, during the early hours of August 23, Lee Fish, prosecuting, explained.

But when officers turned on their blue lights and signalled to the driver to stop, Webb drove off at speed.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the pursuit that followed, in which Webb’s car could be seen driving at speed through residential areas, going through red lights and crossing onto the wrong side of the road.

The car reached speeds of more than 70mph in more rural areas, and was “significantly” over the speed limit throughout the pursuit.

He was jailed for six years and eight months on December 13 for causing Paula’s death by dangerous driving.

Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson leaving SouthTyneside Magistrates' Court, South Shields
Mark Thompson leaving SouthTyneside Magistrates’ Court, South Shields
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

Non-league footballer Richard Jordan was sent flying from the rear seat of Mark Thompson’s Mercedes and died from his injuries.

Thompson clocked speeds of 121mph as he travelled along the A19 near Houghton-le-Spring, in Sunderland.

The drink and drug-fuelled driver, 42, then smashed into the rear of another vehicle with such force that Mr Jordan was sent flying from the vehicle and died from his injuries.

The car also went up into the air, hit a barrier and span before landing on its side on a grass verge.

Newcastle Crown Court was told that dad-of-two Mr Jordan, 33, died from his catastrophic injuries, while Thompson’s front seat passenger, Lewis Atkinson, suffered a bleed on the brain.

A blood test later revealed that Thompson was over the legal limit for alcohol and Benzoylecgonine, a breakdown product of cocaine.

Morphine was also found in his system.

Thompson, of Seaton Crescent, in Seaham, County Durham, was jailed for six years and eight months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Mary Stokes

Mary Stokes at a previous court hearing
Mary Stokes at a previous court hearing
(Image: ChronicleLive)

A court heard Mary Stokes was showing off in an unroadworthy car before a head-on collision on the A1068 near Horden, County Durham, last September.

As a result of the “persistent” spell of bad driving, Stokes’ three-year-old daughter Kelsey was thrown from the car and killed, while her 17-year-old cousin Shauna Stokes died in hospital the following day.

The 23-year-old was jailed in July for three years and eight months after pleading guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and five counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Durham Crown Court heard in July that Stokes, who was uninsured and unlicensed, had five passengers in her Peugeot 206 which had been sold for scrap after failing its MOT.

Two small children were not in child seats at the time.

Three other under-18s were seriously injured in the crash, as was the driver of a Mercedes van which the Peugeot 206 hit head-on.

Stokes was also trapped, having suffered serious leg injuries, and she now requires crutches to walk.

Lee Owens

Lee Owens, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving
Lee Owens, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

Lee Owens, of Gateshead, was doing around twice the speed limit in Washington when he lost control of his car anf smashed into a tree, killing dad-of-two Dean Fearon.

Owens, 35, then fled the scene of the incident which killed his friend.

By the time police caught up with Owens, he had been drinking heavily and so it was not possible to determine if and by how much he was over the drink drive limit at the time of the fatal accident.

Prosecutor Gavin Doig, said it was around 4.35pm on Sunday June 20 that Owens was driving his Ford Mondeo on Sulgrave Road, Washington, with 29-year-old Dean in the passenger seat wearing a seat belt.

As he took a sweeping right hand bend on the 30mph road, he lost control, mounted a grass verge and hit a tree.

An investigation showed he was doing between 58mph and 66mph when he left the road and there were no defects in the car or the road and it was a fine, dry day.

One witness had heard the car tyres screeching as it sped round the bend and heard the loud noise of the crash.

He approached the car afterwards and saw Dean was unconscious and had a significant head injury. His injuries were unsurvivable and he died two days later.

Owens, of Warwick Court, Gateshead, who had 23 previous convictions, including for drink driving and assaults, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for 64 months and banned from driving for 44 months.

Dean Everist

Dean Everist
Dean Everist narrowly avoided two other cars as he sped along the 40mph road, before hitting Mrs Osborne-Sawyer’s Ford Focus
(Image: Durham Constabulary)

Dean Everist was travelling at more than 70mph on a 40mph road when he crashed into Mrs Osborne-Sawyer’s car, killing her at the scene.

Everist had narrowly avoided crashing into a bollard before hitting Mrs Osborne-Sawyer’s Ford Focus on Thorpe Road, Horden, on February 6.

He had already narrowly avoided two other cars as he sped along the 40mph road in his Mercedes in wet conditions.

And despite the best efforts of the emergency services, Mrs Osborne-Sawyer’s injuries were so severe that she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Everist, 44, of Fifth Street, Horden, failed a roadside drugs test and was arrested for causing death by dangerous driving.

But refused to admit his guilt until two weeks before his trial was due to start.

He was jailed for 44 months and banned from driving for 46 months.

Mohammed Youssaf

Mohammed Youssaf
Mohammed Youssaf
(Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

The 33-year-old killed first year Newcastle University psychology student Emma Guilbert in Fenham in November 2018.

Youssaf was doing at least 40mph on 30mph Wingrove Road when he drove into Emma, causing fatal injuries.

The court heard he had been using his mobile phone illegally on his way home from work but there was no evidence he was using it at the point he hit Emma, although he was not looking at the road.

But Youssaf did not stop at the scene and instead fled the area in his mum’s Peugeot 307 – leaving Emma to die.

The 18-year-old was taken to hospital but doctors were unable to save her life and she was pronounced dead three days later.

Youssaf, of Wingrove Road, Fenham, admitted death by careless driving but jurors found him guilty of the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

In April, he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, of which he is likely to serve no more than 15 months for killing the much-loved teenager.

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Chronicle Live – Sunderland