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A coked-up car salesman behind the wheel of a black Audi ran a red light and nearly crashed into a police van during a high speed chase which saw a force helicopter circle Yarm.

Dad-to-be Jordan Joof, was spotted driving dangerously across the town in November 2020, sparking a helicopter search, Teesside Crown Court heard. The self-employed salesman and mechanic was under the influence of cocaine at the time and had been banned from driving only months prior.

Outlining the case, Annelise Haugstad, said Cleveland Police officers had stopped at the Worsall Road and Yarm High Street junction, on November 21, when they spotted the Coulby Newham defendant in the black Audi.

Ms Haugstad said police followed the car and indicated for Joof to pull over, which he did before speeding off as officers approached.

She said: “The vehicle was next seen on The Meadowings where it was on the opposing carriageway travelling at speeds between 50 and 60mph before it turned into Harker Close. The officers had given chase and located the vehicle then lost sight of it. Other units were informed of the incident and the vehicle was seen travelling at speed along Green Lane in Yarm, travelling through a red light.”

The court heard police caught up with the car and parked across the road to block Joof but he drove straight at the van before swerving at the last minute. Ms Haugstad said he mounted the kerb before speeding off, adding: “Numerous police units had been deployed including the police helicopter to locate the driver – who at that point had abandoned the vehicle on Davenport Road.

“Officers instructed the defendant to stop and a foot pursuit of around 40 metres ensued.” The court heard the defendant threw away the key to the Audi while being chased.

After Joof was apprehended, checks of the Police National Computer revealed the defendant was banned from driving on March 18, 2020. Breath and blood samples were taken and found the defendant had benzoylecgonine – a cocaine breakdown product – and cocaine in his system.

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