A Gilley Law carjacker threatened to stab a female driver in order to steal her car then led police on a dangerous pursuit at up to 90mph in a 30 zone.

Connor Atkinson was loitering in a car park waiting for a victim around 11pm on June 8 when the victim arrived outside her home in Sunderland. She had just reversed her Seat into a parking space when Atkinson approached her and she lowered her car window a little.

He asked if she lived there and when she said yes he replied: “Hand over the keys, give me the keys or I will stab you’. Matthew Hopkins, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court : “She gave him the keys because she was scared he had a knife. She saw him hiding something and feared it must have been a knife so she got out of the car and ran.”

As he sped off in her car, Atkinson shouted: “Don’t call the police or I will stab you, I’ll kill you.” Around 45 minutes later, banned driver Atkinson had replaced the registration plates with stolen ones from a van.

Just after midnight, police caught up with him but he refused to stop and sparked a dangerous chase, during which he reached 68mph in a 20 zone and 90mph in a 30 zone. He also went the wrong way around two roundabouts, drove on the wrong side of the road around beds and went through three red lights.

After jumping the third red light, he was on the wrong side of the road and crashed into the side of another car, injuring the driver. Atkinson later claimed he was trying to kill himself. He ran off but was captured by police. Both the Seat, worth £5,000, and the other car were both written off.

The robbery victim said in a statement read to the court: “Since this happened I’ve developed serious social anxiety which I didn’t have before. I now find myself walking everywhere rather than taking my car due to what happened to me.

“I’ve had to start off with a new car on finance and my confidence driving around has been massively impacted, I’m constantly checking the doors are locked even when I’m in safe spaces.

“I was so scared of the threat he made towards me that night. I could have been attacked or seriuosly injured.”

The man whose car Atkinson smashed into said he is still suffering mentally and physically. His shoulder was damaged, which is causing him ongoing pain and he is having physio. He said it’s left him unable to take part in activities he used to enjoy, including cycling, going to the gym and doing DIY. He also had to buy a new car.

After jumping the third red light, he was on the wrong side of the road and crashed into the side of another car, injuring the driver. Atkinson later claimed he was trying to kill himself. He ran off but was captured by police. Both the Seat, worth £5,000, and the other car were both written off.

The robbery victim said in a statement read to the court: “Since this happened I’ve developed serious social anxiety which I didn’t have before. I now find myself walking everywhere rather than taking my car due to what happened to me.

“I’ve had to start off with a new car on finance and my confidence driving around has been massively impacted, I’m constantly checking the doors are locked even when I’m in safe spaces.

“I was so scared of the threat he made towards me that night. I could have been attacked or seriuosly injured.”

The man whose car Atkinson smashed into said he is still suffering mentally and physically. His shoulder was damaged, which is causing him ongoing pain and he is having physio. He said it’s left him unable to take part in activities he used to enjoy, including cycling, going to the gym and doing DIY. He also had to buy a new car.

By SGM

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