A MAN has been jailed after he tried to hide a machete in a wheelie bin following a car chase with police.

Mark Joseph Bowyer, 45, led officers on a high speed pursuit along the roads of Great Lever before driving down footpaths and across a playing field in an effort to avoid them.

When he was finally arrested after escaping on foot, officers found a machete with a 16-inch blade wrapped in his coat and hidden in a nearby wheelie bin.

Prosecutor Rachel Widdicombe told Bolton Crown Court that officers on patrol had first spotted Bowyer at around 9.40pm on October 11 when he was seen driving towards them on Bradford Street in a black Ford Fiesta.

She said the car had no front number plate and had turned suddenly which had aroused the officers’ suspicions and when they checked the vehicle it showed the registered keeper lived in West Sussex.

After following the driver they requested him to stop but after pulling over he kept the engine running and as officers approached he drove off down Lever Street.

Bowyer, of Tulip Avenue, Bolton, drove the vehicle at around 50mph through a 30mph zone, drove through a no-entry sign and drove the wrong way along a one way street before driving on to a playing field and footpath.

After terminating their pursuit and continuing on foot, the officers found the Fiesta dumped on Greenhead Walk with Bowyer discovered nearby “sweating and out of breath”.

Ms Widdicombe added that Bowyer had 34 previous convictions for 129 offences and had been disqualified from driving numerous times. In 2000, he had been caught in possession of a knuckle duster and was jailed in March this year for possession of a bladed article. He was released just 10 days before this latest offence. Joshua Bowker, defending, said Bowyer was staying in a hotel after his release from prison and was on his way back there from a gardening job, hence the machete in his car along with other tools including a saw.

“Drug abuse is a significant factor in his life,” said Mr Bowker, who added that Bowyer, who pleaded guilty to two offences, had managed to stay clean from heroin for five years before his latest spree of offending.

Judge Graeme Smith gave Bowyer sentences of four months for possession of a bladed article and five months for dangerous driving. He will also be disqualified from driving for 15 months.