A DRIVER has been jailed after he was found behind the wheel of a car just weeks after he was involved in a police pursuit.

Gary Stevenson led officers on a four minute chase around Farnworth streets at up to 80mph in a Vauxhall Corsa before he was finally stopped on Presto Street.

Peter Connick, prosecuting, told Bolton Crown Court how police spotted the car on Bradford Road at 12.30am on March 22 and tried to stop it to check the driver's documents, but 56-year-old Stevenson sped off, heading down side roads, through red lights and no entry signs and driving on the wrong side of the road.

He was eventually blocked in by the police car and arrested after he tried to clamber out of the passenger door.

Checks revealed he had no licence or insurance and he tested positive for cocaine, methadone and morphine.

Stevenson was banned from driving and released under investigation but then, on July 18 when police stopped a Jaguar car in Walkden for the passenger not wearing a seat belt, Stevenson was found behind the wheel again.

Stevenson, of Dalymount Close, Tonge Moor, pleaded guilty to drug driving, dangerous driving, having no licence or insurance and driving whilst banned.

He already has 37 previous convictions for 69 offences.

Ellen Shaw, defending, told the court that Stevenson is "no stranger to custody" but appealed to Recorder Andrew Long not to jail him again.

She stressed that no one was injured or damage caused during the police chase and added that the drug addict's attitude towards his behaviour has now changed.

"In his words he says, 'I am going to end up dead if I carry on'," said Miss Shaw.

"He appreciates the bad decisions he has made and tells me he is never going to drive again because he accepts that it will just end up being unproductive and leading to further trouble."

But Recorder Long told Stevenson that his very poor criminal record and his previous flouting of court orders means he must lose his liberty.

"I am very sorry, I am going to have to send you to prison immediately," he said.

As well as the six-month jail term Stevenson was banned from driving for three years, after which he will have to take an extended test.