A SPEEDING motorist has been jailed for driving up to 70mph in quiet residential streets and almost knocking over three people as he was being chased by police.

Officers chased 30-year-old Peter MacDonald, who was driving a Vauxhall Vivaro, for nearly 10 minutes after he failed to pull in when police told him to to on January 3 at about 12.30pm.

Saul Brody, prosecuting, said: “It was in a built up area, it was daylight. The risk was if a child had been crossing a road there could have been a fatality.

Bolton Crown Court heard the five mile chase lasted for about nine minutes.

It only ended when MacDonald stopped his van in Arthur Street, Little Lever, and fled out of the passenger door along Victory Road.

MacDonald, of School Street, Little Lever, ran into a house where he knew the resident, but was pushed out into the hands of the police.

Police officers said two women were nearly hit by the van and he also “narrowly missed” a dog walker, the court heard.

MacDonald told police that he was the passenger of the van and a traveller named “Wardy” was driving.

He said he owned the vehicle but did not drive it because he does not have a licence.

Despite MacDonald’s claims he admitted dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance yesterday, the day he was due to stand trial.

Katy Appleton, defending, said MacDonald was addicted to heroin for 10 years but has been on a detox from the drug while in custody — serving a sentence for another matter — and “looks healthy and feels healthier”.

Ms Appleton said MacDonald’s partner of four years was pregnant with his first child and he wants to be a good father figure.

Recorder Paul O’Brien, sentencing, said: “This was reckless and truly dangerous driving in built-up areas in speeds up to 70mph, driving on footpaths.

“On a grassed area you narrowly missed two pedestrians then accelerated missing another pedestrian. In my view this is a serious case of dangerous driving.”

MacDonald was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for two years. He will have to take an extended retest if he wants to drive again.