A FORMER bus company employee took a single-decker vehicle and drove it around Bolton while high on drugs.
Terry Potter took the bus from the Arriva depot in Goodwin Street.
He was only caught when he was spotted driving the vehicle by a former colleague.
The 28-year-old, who had previously worked at Arriva, was even caught on CCTV getting out of the driver’s seat to adjust the mirror at the nearside of the bus while he was driving.
Chairman of the bench at Bolton Magistrates’ Court, Sandra Whittle, said: “The facts of the case bring a whole new meaning to taking the bus home.”
Potter, of Torrington Avenue, Halliwell, pleaded guilty at Bolton Magistrates’ Court yesterday to aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and driving with no insurance.
Claire Ludlam, prosecuting, said Potter had taken 20 diazepam tablets and was “extremely high” and had no recollection of taking the bus at 8pm on April 12.
Arriva employee Simon Schofield raised the alarm when he saw the bus being driven along Green Lane and followed it as he was returning to the depot.
Potter realised he was being followed, stopped the bus and ran away down a ginnell. No damage was caused to the bus during the two-hour long theft.
Potter, who was unemployed, had worked previously at Arriva for six months where he was responsible for checking the buses were insured and kept in a good condition.
To steal the bus he pressed a sequence of buttons to start the engine, which he learned during his employment at Arriva.
Potter hung his head and did not watch the footage of his driving while it was played to the court yesterday. James Towey, defending, said: “It was a meaningless offence. There was no rhyme or reason behind it.”
Potter, who has previous unrelated convictions, was not charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs because he was arrested several days after the incident.
The case was adjourned for probation reports to be drafted as magistrates could not rule out a custodial sentence.
Potter was granted bail until he is sentenced on Friday, but was disqualified from driving.