A banned driver claimed he was on a “crash course” before getting his licence back when he led police on a high speed chase.

Ryan Walkden, 35, was parked in a silver Peugeot on Mornington Road, Heaton, on Friday, March 8 this year when he was spotted by police on patrol.

Bolton Crown Court heard how the officers had been on patrol as part of a traffic operation that day.

Prosecutor Olivia Brooksbank-Laing said: “The defendant began to speed up, going through red traffic lights onto Chorley Old Road.”

A chase ensued into a residential area where Walkden reached speeds up to 40mph in a 20mph zone.

He eventually turned right onto the A666, into oncoming traffic at one point, before hitting a metal side bar.

Ms Brooksbank-Laing said that Walkden, now of HMP Wymott, then drove off again when police tried to approach him on foot.

He was finally stopped again and arrested after trying to escape on foot after about five minutes after the chase had started.

On searching his car, officers found Walkden had neither a licence or insurance but did have a kitchen knife that he claimed was “used for cooking purposes” and did not know was there.

He had also been serving a driving ban at the time.

Brought before the courts, Walkden, who has 35 previous convictions for 78 offences, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

He also admitted to driving without insurance, driving without a licence, failing to stop after and accident and possession of a knife in a public place.

Eleanor Gleeson, defending, said that Walkden had earned credit for his guilty plea and that he hoped to avoid involvement in crime in the future.

She said: “He explained to me that it was simply a moment of madness, he says his head was in overdrive at the time.”

Ms Gleeson said that Walken had bought the car in anticipation of getting his drivers licence back and had hoped to give himself a “crash course".

But she accepted, as the judge put it, that this was “a rather unfortunate turn of phrase".

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Recorder Alexandra Simmonds accepted Walkden’s guilty plea had earned him credit but reminded him of the dangers he had put other people in.

She said that he did this “knowing full well” that he had been banned from driving.

She added: “You say that you didn’t know the knife was in there but I’m not sure I accept that.”

Recorder Simmonds sentenced Walkden to 12 months in prison and extended his driving ban to three years and six months.