A DRIVER took his heavily pregnant girlfriend on a high-speed car chase around Bolton after police caught him with a stash of cocaine, a court heard.

Waqar Ali caused other motorists to slam on their brakes and swerve out of the way as he drove along Deane Road trying to avoid police, Bolton magistrates were told.

The 20-year-old, of Eustace Street, Great Lever, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, possessing cocaine and driving without a full licence. Nicola Ormerod, prosecuting, told the court how, at about 6.20pm on March 26, police stopped Ali, who was driving a Honda Civic, for not wearing a seatbelt.

His girlfriend, who was 39 weeks pregnant, was in the passenger seat.

As officers spoke to Ali, who they had seen handling something in the car’s footwell, he suddenly drove off at speed into Deane Road.

The officers pursued him but after a short time gave up the chase over concerns for other motorists and pedestrians.

“He failed to stop and swerved violently into oncoming traffic. Other people had to brake hard to avoid him,” said Ms Ormerod.

A short time later police found the car in a side road, where it had crashed into a shop.

Nearby residents directed them to an alleyway that Ali had used to escape.

They gave chase, eventually catching and arresting him when he tired.

Police searched his car and found four snap bags of cocaine.

Magistrates decided they did not have sufficient powers of sentencing and so committed the case to Bolton Crown Court, where a judge will sentence Ali on June 19.