A motorist led police on a chase through Bolton, reaching speeds of up to 70mph.

Dane Blears, aged 23, appeared at court to be sentenced after the pursuit in November 25 of last year

Blears, of Ralph Street, Halliwell, was sentenced for dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving without a licence. 

Prosecuting, Megan Edwards said: "At 10pm on November 25, PC Dean was on patrol in an unmarked police vehicle in Bolton when he was made aware of another patrol pursuing a black Vauxhall Astra they believed to be on cloned plates. 

"Ten minutes later, the police officer sited him on St George's Road and pursued. 

"The car went through a red light at 40mph in a 30mph zone, narrowly avoiding a collision. 

"He then went across a grass area, through a housing estate at speeds of between 20 and 40mph, before re-joining the carriageway at 70mph in a 30mph." 

Officers followed the Vauxhall to Moss Bank Park, where it was dumped on a "grassed area" and its driver fled. 

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Police vehicles could not follow the car, but a police helicopter, which had joined the pursuit, tracked him to a wooded area. 

Ms Edwards added: "Officers searched and located the defendant in a back garden on a residential street." 

Blears had pleaded guilty to the crimes at the first opportunity at a previous hearing. 

Defending, Charlotte Rimmer said: "This defendant will do anything he can to avoid going into immediate custody." 

She highlighted Blears' "traumatic" childhood which he is "still coming to terms with" and his anxiety and depression, for which he is taking medication, as mitigating factors. 

She also highlighted he had a partner and a child.

Ms Rimmer said that he was "terrified" at the prospect of going to prison. 

She added: "He is someone who would benefit from sitting down with a probation officer." 

Concluding, Recorder Gavin McBride said: "These are serious matters, which cross the custodial threshold. You have previous matters dating back to 2017, which do involve driving, there is a pattern of offending. 

"That is an aggravating feature." 

He conceded, however, that as per the pre-sentence report, Blears recognised that he "needed assistance" and acknowledged that he could have hurt someone. 

Recorder McBride gave him a sentence of 24 weeks, suspended for 18 months. 

He also gave him 180 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay £150 costs.