A DRUG dealer smashed his car into wall while trying to escape from police.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Paul Battersby was spotted by an officer driving a VW Golf on Vernon Street at the junction with Chorley Old Road at 11.30pm on January 28.

Duncan Wilcock, prosecuting, said: "He saw the vehicle approach the lights at speed so he decided to follow it."

Battersby initially stopped but then did a u-turn and sped off, pursued through back streets at up to 50mph.

Other patrol cars joined in the pursuit and, at one stage, police thought Battersby was about to reverse into their vehicle.

"The officer took steps to get closer so there was, in fact, no shunting of the officer's car," said Mr Wilcock.

Battersby, who had a passenger in the car, drove off again before eventually crashing into a wall on Broad Street.

"It would appear he lost control of the vehicle and ultimately collided with a wall at speed," said Mr Wilcock.

Battersby, aged 46, who was banned from driving clambered out of the car and was seen to throw away a bag onto the ground.

When it was recovered it was found to contain 27 wraps of heroin, worth a total of £2,500 and there were eight packages of crack cocaine worth £200 plus £200 in cash.

Battersby, of Ormston Avenue, Bolton, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and possessing drugs with intent to supply.

Kimberley Morton, defending, said the defendant's life has been ruined by his addiction to heroin, which began when he was aged 20.

"About a year ago he was on a methadone prescription however he started using heroin on top of that and quickly became addicted to it again," she said.

"That is the motivation for the drugs offences — its as simple as that. He couldn't afford to keep buying drugs and he has admitted selling drugs to fund his own habit."

She added that Battersby had made attempts to reform but has been unable to find a job because of his criminal record despite going for 42 interviews and his health has been affected.

Mrs Morton said: "He has ulcerated legs because of injecting heroin and he also has diabetes and is on anti-depression medication.

"He recognises that drugs are very likely to have shortened his life.

"He's very upset to find himself before the courts again."

Judge Timothy Stead sentenced Battersby to four years in prison.

He told the defendant: "It appears to me, and there is no pleasure in saying this, that you have almost certainly ruined your own health by drug abuse. It is easy to say it is a lifestyle choice but the fact it that is what you have done."

"But it is also the case that by seeking to supply heroin and cocaine you are perpetuating the same sort of misery you have inflicted on yourself on other people and I can't overlook that."