A DISQUALIFIED driver led police on a late-night 26-mile pursuit as he reached speeds of up to 130mph – just days into the coronavirus lockdown.

Mark Christian Dudley snaked along the A338 Spur Road in Dorset and A31 into the New Forest after initially being spotted driving in excess of a 30mph limit in Bournemouth.

His dangerous driving saw him continue to evade police even after they deployed a stinger that punctured some of the tyres on his Volkswagen Tiguan, leaving him effectively driving on some of the wheel rims.

Dudley came to a stop on the off-slip road of junction one of the M27 before he reversed into a police car, causing significant damage to the vehicle and shaking up its occupants – a police dog handler and their dogs.

The 45-year-old then drove off again despite the damage to his car before eventually decamping near the village of Brook.

New Forest Post: The Volkswagen Tiguan that was being driven by Mark Christian Dudley. Picture: Dorset PoliceThe Volkswagen Tiguan that was being driven by Mark Christian Dudley. Picture: Dorset Police

Officers arrested him, with assistance from a NPAS helicopter, in a wooded area.

Dudley appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court on Wednesday, July 15, for sentencing, having previously admitted charges of dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen, driving without insurance, driving while disqualified and being in possession of cocaine.

Prosecuting Dawn Hyland told the court the defendant came to the attention of an officer shortly after midnight on March 29 after he was seen speeding in a 30mph zone. The officer illuminated blue lights on his police car indicating to Dudley to stop.

"He failed to do so and proceeded to drive for around 26 miles at speed," said Ms Hyland.

He travelled in excess of 100mph, sometimes as fast as 130mph, she told the court.

Ms Hyland said Dudley covered a distance that Google Maps suggests would take 37 minutes in around just 15 minutes.

Once arrested the defendant failed to provide a specimen to police, however, the court heard Dudley admitted to the probation service that he had consumed drugs and alcohol.

Ms Hyland said the defendant was described as "rude and obnoxious" while in police custody.

Following a strip search, officers found cocaine in Dudley's possession, while in his vehicle they found two cans of partly drunk Stella Artois.

New Forest Post: Mark Christian Dudley, aged 45 and of Clifton Road, BournemouthMark Christian Dudley, aged 45 and of Clifton Road, Bournemouth

Mitigating Harry Price-Smith told the court that the defendant has said he has issues with making bad decisions when he has consumed drugs and alcohol, adding that the incident was a "blur" to him.

Judge Stephen Climie described Dudley's speeding as "extraordinarily excessive".

"You were not thinking straight. That must be blindingly obvious," added Judge Climie.

"This is an incident of significance which falls right at the top end (of the sentencing guidelines)."

Dudley, of Clifton Road, Bournemouth, was jailed for 10 months and given a driving disqualification of five years. Should he wish to obtain a licence following his driving ban, he will be forced to sit an extended retest.