A TEENAGE danger driver “lost his head “ as he hit 90mph during a police chase in and around Carlisle.

But Patrick Donoghue, 18, told a judge who punished him he “didn’t know” what caused him to ignore an officer’s orders to stop.

Police first saw Donoghue at Langrigg Road, Morton, at 10.30pm on September 21 behind the wheel of a red Ford Transit van. It took a turn at speed and had a defective brake light.

Despite an officer activating blue lights and a siren, the teen failed to stop.

Pursuing police hit 85mph through a 40mph zone beside the Dalston Road Pirelli factory, and then 90mph between Carlisle and Dalston. Donoghue crossed double white lines and overtook on a blind bend within the village.

After a police stinger was deployed at Durdar crossroads, his van eventually stopped.

“There was a short foot chase but he was detained and arrested by the pursuing police,” prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told Carlisle Crown Court. “He struggled while he was arrested to the extent that officers felt they had to deploy incapacitant spray to bring him under control.”

A young man without any previous convictions, Donoghue, of London Road, admitted dangerous driving and no insurance.

Mark Styles, defending, said of the teen: “He maintains what he told the probation service: he was asked to move the vehicle by a friend, panicked and seems to have completely lost his head. No rational explanation for his behaviour whatsoever.”

Judge Nicholas Barker, concluding there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, suspended a six-month custodial sentence for 18 months. He was also ordered to complete 100 hours’ unpaid work, received an 18-month driving ban and must pass an extended re-test.

“You put others at significant risk and that is inexcusable,” Judge Barker said. “It is time to wake up and grow up.”

The judge had observed: “What was going through your mind, I don’t know.”

Donoghue replied: “I don’t know myself, to be honest.”