An uninsured driver flouted a red light and travelled on the wrong side of the road as he tried to flee the scene after crashing into a taxi in a bus lane.

Shay Harris had illegally been driving his Audi along the bus lane on Gosforth High Street when he “rear-ended” the cab, which had passengers in the back. Instead of waiting at the scene, the 20-year-old performed a U-turn on the busy road and sped-off in the direction of the Blue House Roudabout, a court heard.

The taxi driver dropped off his fare before following Harris and watching as he travelled above the 30mph speed limit on the wrong side of the carriageway. Harris then turned onto Jesmond Road and was seen to flout a red light at the junction with Jesmond Dene Road, prosecutors said.

Harris managed to get out of sight but the cabbie continued to look for him and later found his vehicle in a nearby hotel car park. The police were called and Harris, of Roseden Way, in Great Park, Newcastle, was arrested.

Now, he has been banned from the roads after he appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court to plead guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident, failing to report an accident and driving with no insurance.

Greg Flaxen, prosecuting, said the taxi driver was travelling down a bus lane with passengers in the back on September 4 this year when Harris “rear-ended” him, Mr Flaxen continued: “The defendant performed a U-turn while the taxi driver parked up and took his registration plate.

“He tried to follow the vehicle and the defendant travels on the wrong side of the road and he goes through a red light and he’s driving at speed. The taxi driver then stopped and let his passengers out.”

The court heard that the cabbie searched for Harris’s vehicle and found it in a nearby hotel car park. Harris was later arrested and also found to be uninsured.

Geoff Forrester, defending, said Harris admitted travelling above the 30mph speed limit but claimed he went no faster than 40mph. Mr Forrester added: “No airbags were deployed after the collision, so there was not much force. Where he’s gone horrendously wrong is he’s panicked and driven off. He’s young and he panicked.”

Adjourning Harris’s case for sentence but giving him an interim driving ban, District Judge Paul Currer said: “You have admitted a serious offence of dangerous driving and you were uninsured and you didn’t stop after and you didn’t report an accident. This is serious offending and I’m adjourning for a pre-sentence report.” Harris was released on unconditional bail to appear back at the same court on December 7.

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