A BOLTON barber reached speeds of over 100mph as he led police officers on a car chase through the town’s streets.

Abdoulaye Gueye, owner of Faye Barbers in Bridge Street, drove an Audi Q3 through several red lights before crashing into a hedge on Chorley New Road in the early hours of September 11 this year.

Appearing at Bolton Crown Court for sentencing, Gueye told the court he had “panicked” after seeing a patrol car following him due to a number of bad experiences with the authorities in his homeland of Senegal where the 39-year-old claimed he had suffered beatings at the hands of the police.

Lisa Wilson, prosecuting, said Gueye, of Whitland Avenue, Bolton, was seen driving in Derby Street at around 12.30am, but when officers tried to pull him over he began speeding along a route which took him down College Way, Mayor Street, Chorley Street and Chorley New Street where his speed dramatically increased to an estimated 106mph. CCTV footage shown to the court also showed Gueye crossing the road’s central line and coming close to a car travelling in the opposite direction.

He crashed the car as he attempted to turn into Waterslea Drive, but both the driver and a female passenger escaped injury.

Representing himself, Gueye, who has no previous convictions, said he was driving to his brother’s house when he saw the police. He said he had driven in Senegal but had attracted attention due to its UK number plates and been stopped by the police who had tried to force money from him before beating him when he refused,

“When I saw the police here I thought the same thing might happen,” he said.

Gaye told the court he employed four people and was helping to look after his brother’s four children which involved a lot of driving between schools.

“The thing I did means I deserve to be disqualified,” he added. “It was very bad.”

Judge Graeme Smith said Gueye had given “an unusual explanation” for pleading guilty to an offence of dangerous driving but added this was no excuse.

He handed Gueye an eight month sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered him to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and will have to pass an extended retest before driving again.