A MAN who had no licence borrowed a friend's car to go and see his girlfriend.

But Jake Ellison, who described the decision as "a simple mistake", came to the attention of police and tried to escape.

At Bolton Magistrates he was fined after admitting careless driving, failing to stop for police, having no insurance or licence and possessing cannabis.

Ann Deakin, prosecuting, told the court that officers spotted the VW Passat 21-year-old Ellison was driving on Chorley Old Road, Bolton, just after 9pm on July 8.

"Due to the manner in which the vehicle was being driven officers attempted to stop the vehicle," said Miss Deakin.

"However, the vehicle refused to stop and drove off at speed."

The area was searched and the car was spotted on Chorley New Road and sped off again, this time hurtling through a red traffic light.

"The vehicle was located after being abandoned on Albert Road. The engine was still running and the defendant and a passenger ran off," said Miss Deakin.

After a short chase Ellison was caught in nearby Carlton Road and immediately admitted having driven the car.

A search of the vehicle revealed 25 small bags of cannabis.

Rahil Khan, defending, told magistrates how Ellison, of Pryce Street, Bolton, suffers from anxiety and depression and medication he was given had badly affected him.

"He therefore started to smoke cannabis," said Mr Khan.

He added that, at the time of the offences, Ellison had recently come out of a long-term abusive relationship and had a new girlfriend.

After earning some money for a cash-in-hand job, he bought some of the drug. "He was going to visit his girlfriend in his friend's car. Driving past police, because of his lack of experience, he speeded up because he had no driving licence and had cannabis in the car," said Mr Khan.

"It is his first conviction and so it is regrettable he is before the court."

Magistrates fined him £533 plus £119 in costs and charges and banned him from applying for a driving licence for six months.

"It's a shame you destroyed your previous good character," chairman of the bench Martyn Simpson told him.

"It was just a simple mistake," Ellison replied.