144mph BMW driver banned

Updated: 

BMW X5

A motorist who was caught driving at speeds of up to 144mph has been banned from driving.

Ross McDermott was spotted travelling at over twice the speed limit by a police officer on a slip road, on the A189 Northbound near Gateshead.

He was pursued but was only caught up when his powerful BMW X5 SUV was held back by traffic.

The 37-year-old electrician later told police that he'd gone out for a drive that afternoon specifically to see how fast his car could go.

Appearing before South East Northumberland Magistrates' court, McDermott admitting speeding and dangerous driving, the latter of which he had previously denied and was due to stand trial for.

Addressing the court, Prosecutor James Long said: "The dangerous driving is in essence the speeding," reported the Daily Mail.

"That speed and standard of driving fell far below that what would be expected of a competent and careful driver in the circumstances.

"The danger which arises here from that grossly excessive speed, I think is a fair description of it, (is that) there are other users on that main road at that time of day.

"The road may not have been as busy as some other times but there was other traffic on the road and the danger of driving at that grossly excessive speed should be plain to see."

In mitigation, McDermott's solicitor told Magistrates that his client had not travelled at a sustained 144mph, but had slowed back to below the speed limit once he had ascertained the vehicle's top speed.

McDermott was banned from driving for 15 months and fined £816. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £81 and costs of £200, and will have to sit an extended driving test before being allowed back behind the wheel.