A driver who tried to escape police, crashed into a fence and bollard when attempts to do a handbrake turn in a dead-end street failed.

Bolton Crown Court heard how police spotted a Ford Focus on Wigan Road, Leigh, at just after 10.30pm on January 5 and suspected it of being driven on false plates.

David Farley, prosecuting, told how, after following the car for some distance in an unmarked police vehicle, they decided to stop it.

But instead Alexander Healey, who was banned from driving at the time and had no insurance, sped off.

For several minutes he drove dangerously in the car, which had been stolen on December 10, careering over a mini-roundabout, through a red light and at speeds of up to 70mph on residential roads.

Eventually 33-year-old Healey ended up in Green Meadows, Westhoughton, which is a cul-de-sac.

“He tries a handbrake turn, which isn’t working, and then another handbrake turn,” said Mr Farley.

“He is obviously trying to turn around but the car goes sideways and crashes into a fence and a concrete bollard.”

Healey, of Wigan Road, Leigh, and a passenger tried to run off but the driver was caught.

“In fairness to the defendant, on his arrest he apologised for the driving and the damage,” said Mr Farley.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while banned and without insurance.

Healey already had convictions for assault, burglary, driving and drugs offences and at the time of his latest offence was subject to a community order for attempted theft and having an offensive weapon.

Clare Brocklebank, defending, appealed to The Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh, not to jail him immediately.

“He is remorseful,” she said, and stressed that, in recent months Healey has been making efforts to change his life.

“For once, and finally it seems, he has re-engaged with probation,” she said, adding that he is now taking medication for his paranoid schizophrenia.

“This offence has been a wake-up for him that he needs to sort his life out.

Judge Walsh decide to adjourn sentencing until July 28 in order to obtain further reports about Healey.