A YOUNG motorist led police on a dangerous high speed chase near Carlisle in a car stolen during a test-drive.

Kieran Telford-Coulthard, 20, attended a Haltwhistle garage last June when he was allowed to borrow and try out a Volkswagen Urban Fox which he failed to return.

Two days later, police learned Telford-Coulthard had crashed the car into a ditch around Dalston.

The city’s crown court heard officers attended the incident.

They gave chase after seeing him behind the wheel of a vehicle which had just been pulled from the ditch by a tractor driver.

During the pursuit, police reached double the 30mph limit through Dalston. Dashcam footage showed Telford Coulthard overtaking vehicles on the wrong side of the road. He failed to stop at one junction and almost hit a female pedestrian at another.

After leaving the village, Telford-Coulthard, of Crakeside, Dalston, crashed the car. “Smoke is seen from the vehicle and he makes a run for it,” said prosecutor Beccy McGregor.

He was found at his home, later admitting dangerous driving, taking a vehicle without consent, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and no insurance.

Telford-Coulthard failed to show for his original sentencing hearing. But he was brought to Carlisle Crown Court yesterday and jailed for nine months.

He sobbed in the dock throughout the hearing as his lawyer, David Wales, gave mitigation and told how the incident occurred at around the time of the anniversary of his father’s death.

Telford-Coulthard had latterly relocated to the London area where he lived with his heavily pregnant partner.

“He deeply regretted the (driving) incident,” said Mr Wales, who added of the defendant’s emotional state: “His greatest fear is that he is not going to be present for the birth of his child.”

Telford-Coulthard was also given a two-year driving ban and must take an extended re-test.

“Anybody on the streets of Dalston, watching that car, would have been thinking ‘how on earth hasn’t someone been killed or seriously injured?’,” Judge James Adkin observed. “It is pure chance.”