A BARMAID was followed by a drunken customer as she drove to her Rawtenstall home from the Manchester pub where she had been working.

Blackburn magistrates heard the victim was “scared for her life” as illegal immigrant Lirim Maqinaj tried to run her off the M66.

And she broke down in tears when the police and her boss from the pub arrived on the scene and Maqinaj was arrested.

Maqinaj, 30, of Jessop Street, Manchester, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, stalking, harassment, failing to provide a specimen for analysis and driving without insurance. He was committed in custody to Burnley Crown Court to be sentenced on November 29.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the defendant, an Albanian, had already been drinking when he went into the Manchester pub where the victim was working. She was aware of serving him at least six double Jack Daniels during the course of the night.

He had been pestering her for her phone number despite her telling him she was married and to leave her alone.

After the pub closed she walked to her car and as she drove off noticed a silver Mercedes being driven by the defendant. “He followed her onto the M60 and then the M66 and she alerted her boss who said he would come and help her,” said Mrs Yates.

“As she travelled along the motorway he kept trying to run her off onto the hard shoulder and she had to keep speeding up and slowing down to avoid a collision. She was really scared because she knew he was drunk.”

Maqinaj followed the woman all the way to Rawtenstall by which time she was on the phone to the police. The defendant pulled up behind her at traffic lights and her boss had pulled up behind him. She saw a police car and flashed her lights before pulling onto the car park of B & M bargains where she was joined by her boss.

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Mrs Yates said Maqinaj ran off, chased by the police, and was arrested after breaking his ankle when he jumped down a 20 foot drop into a river.

“He told police he ran off because he was in the UK illegally,” said Mrs Yates.