POLICE officers had to jump out of the way after a driver started to move his car as they tried to talk to him.

Bolton magistrates heard how Nathaniel Buckley had initially stopped the BMW he was driving when requested by officers but then started to drive again as they tried to talk to him.

“The drivers’ door was open at the time, causing the officers to jump back to make sure they weren’t hit by it,” said Robin Lynch, prosecuting.

But after going only a few feet the car rolled back and crashed into a fence near Moses Gate Country Park and 25-year-old Buckley ran off.

Passengers in the BMW, at 4am on October 12 last year, gave police Buckley’s details and the stonemason handed himself into the police station.

In court he pleaded guilty to failing to stop after an accident, failing to stop for police, driving whilst banned and having no insurance.

Magistrates were told that, at the time, Buckley, of Fairy Street, Bury, was subject to a suspended prison sentence for drug driving and driving whilst banned.

Darin Millar, defending, stressed that Buckley had panicked when approached by the officers.

He added that Buckley has mental health issues but had struggled to deal with them.

“He sought to hide away from issues around depression and anxiety,” said Mr Millar, but he has now accepted help.

He described the offending as “a very unusual set of circumstances — one born out of desperation.”

Mr Millar appealed to magistrates not to send Buckley to jail.

“A period of custody would be particularly devastating for him,” he said.

“He tells me this has been a wake up call for him. He sees positives coming out of this bad situation.”

Magistrates sentenced Buckley to an intensive community order for 18 months, including 150 hours of unpaid work, 15 days on a drink drinking programme, 20 days of rehabilitation activities and his suspended prison sentence was extended by a further 12 weeks.

Chairman of the bench, Roy Davies told him: “You have a string of offences and, one thing is certain, if you keep on offending, sooner or later you are going to go to prison.”