A reckless driver has been jailed after crashing his car into a petrol station forecourt.

Peter Wilkinson drove at speeds of up to 70mph around Durham while under the influence of drugs before crashing his car in July last year.

Wilkinson and his passenger came to a stop after the vehicle crashed into an island on the A167 and then careered through a low wall at Barmoor Shell Service Station, at Croxdale, showering the forecourt with bricks and debris.

His vehicle struck a stationary car on the forecourt and sent it shunting into a petrol pump, knocking it into another pump. The station assistant deactivated the petrol pumps, fearing fuel could be ignited by sparks, and four vehicles in all were damaged, including a car from which a mother had just taken her two sons into the kiosk shop to buy cold drinks.

No one who had been present at the petrol station was injured, but Wilkinson and his passenger were taken to hospital for medical treatment.

Wilkinson was later arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and driving while under the influence of drugs.

He appeared at Durham Crown Court on Tuesday February 21 and was handed a 16-month custodial sentence, he was also banned from driving for three years and eight months.