A DRIVER who led police on a high-speed chase was caught after he crashed a Mercedes into a kerb.

Niall Briercliffe claimed he had foolishly taken up a friend’s offer to get behind the wheel of the car despite only having a provisional driving licence and no insurance.

At Bolton Crown Court, 28-year-old Briercliffe, who has previous convictions for violence, was jailed for 10 months after Judge Tom Gilbart told him that there was no realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

Anna Bond, prosecuting, told how, just before midnight, police spotted the Mercedes and decided to stop it.

But Briercliffe sped off, leading officers on a pursuit through the streets of Bolton at speeds of up to 70mph.

The court heard how he failed to slow down for speed bumps on Eskrick Street, did not give way at junctions and weaved in and out of traffic, driving on the wrong side of the road and ignored red traffic lights on Chorley Old Road.

On St George’s Road Briercliffe, of Church Avenue, Bolton, hit a kerb and crashed. He ran off, as did two passengers, but was caught a short distance away.

Judge Gilbart heard that he has 26 previous convictions for 34 offences, but has none for driving offences and has stayed out of trouble since receiving a prison sentence in 2018 for causing actual bodily harm to a partner.

Nicholas Ross, defending, said that Briercliffe knew he shouldn’t have been driving the Mercedes and so “panicked” when he saw police.

“Thankfully there were no serious consequences and the vehicle was disabled when it hit the kerb,” said Mr Ross.

He added that the father-of-three has ambitions to start up a small catering business and wants to leave his offending behaviour behind him.

Sentencing Briercliffe, Judge Gilbart told him: “What you did clearly posed a risk to other road users, to other people and to property.

"You are right to recognise the stupidity of what you did. This was a serious piece of criminality.”