A DRIVER who was chased through residential roads at up to 100mph has been jailed for 18 months.

Craig Stanton already had convictions for four previous drink drive related offences when he bought a Peugeot 206.

At 2am on July 15 police spotted him driving on the A6 Manchester Road at Westhoughton.

Stanton, who only had a provisional driving licence and no insurance, was speeding at up to 100mph as he approached Chequerbent roundabout.

David Lees, prosecuting, told Bolton Crown Court how the officers pursued Stanton for three and a half minutes as the driver sped through red lights, through back streets off St Helens Road at up to 90mph, over speed bumps at 50mph and across a grassed area for 30 yards.

"It only lasted three and a half minutes but every second of those three and a half minutes involved great danger to yourself, your passengers and other road users," the Honorary Recorder of Bolton Judge Timothy Clayson told 28-year-old Stanton.

Mr Lees said officers lost sight of Stanton's car, which had been carrying two or three passengers, but 50 minutes later he was arrested after he was recognised by a distinctive green tee shirt he had been wearing.

He recorded 55 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath when the legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Stanton, of Haynes Street, Morris Green, admitted he was the driver of the Peugeot and subsequently pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, drink driving and having no licence or insurance.

The court heard that he has an extensive record for robbery, stealing vehicles and drink driving dating back 12 years.

Phillip Barnes, defending, said that, when last released from custody, Stanton had endeavoured to remain out of trouble but he drinks too much and takes drugs.

"His peers encourage him to do things which, when sober, he would not do," said Mr Barnes.

"Fortunately, though, no driving of his conflicted with other road users."

Sentencing Stanton, Judge Clayson questioned why he had bought a car when, with previous motoring convictions, he could not possibly have afforded insurance.

"What on earth you thought, officially owning a vehicle, is beyond me," said the judge.

"It was an awful decision to be driving it."

Judge Clayson commented that Stanton had put others in "immense danger" by his driving.

"You are very lucky not to be facing a more serious charge," he added.

Stanton was sentenced to 18 months in prison and banned from driving for five years and nine months, after which he will have to take an extended driving test.

See theboltonnews.co.uk for a video of the pursuit.