A plumber with an appalling driving record drove down 30mph roads going faster than 70mph before "gaining air" while going over a canal bridge.

Ross Dixon, 33, was driving a Mercedes-Benz Vito van at 50mph towards Rishton along Dunkenhalgh Way, which has a speed limit of 30mph, at about 2.40am on March 20 when he was spotted by police officers.

Prosecuting the case at Burnley Crown Court, Rachael Woods said police started to follow the van which eventually pulled over, with one of the officers getting out to speak to the driver.

As the officer approached the driver’s side of the van, Dixon, of Willow Street, Accrington, sped off leading officers to start a pursuit.

The van sped off down Blackburn Road, turning left at the junction of Whalley Road whilst hitting speeds of over 70mph.

As Dixon, who had been previously disqualified from driving and did not have insurance, was driving over the canal bridge in Clayton-le-Moors, footage showed that the van "gained air" due to the speed it was travelling.

Finally, when van was making a right turn off Sparth Road, Dixon jumped out of the van, with the vehicle carrying on at speed.

A footchase began, with one of the officers eventually needing to Taser the plumber.

After failing a roadside breath test, another was conducted at the station showing a reading of 62 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath - the legal limit being 35mcg - meaning he was almost double the drink drive limit.

In mitigation, Philip Holden said Dixon had pleaded guilty at the very first opportunity in magistrates court, with Dixon saying he wanted to turn his life around.

Mr Holden said: “He has a drinking problem and along with that a problem with abusing cocaine.

“He has wanted to have assistance on that. He suffers from anxiety and depression and custody has been hard on him.”

Dixon, who runs a plumbing business with a friend, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without insurance, driving with excess alcohol, and driving while disqualified.

Judge Sara Dodd sentenced him to 10 months in prison.

She said: “You have an appalling record for driving with alcohol. You were almost twice the legal limit.

“You had been driving for some time before the police saw you. You pulled over but drove off and what followed was a short lived, but very dangerous piece of driving.

“You were clearly airborne as you went onto the canal bridge.”

Dixon has also been disqualified from driving for 46 months and will have to take an extended test before he can return to the roads.