A dangerous driver from Nelson “tore his car in half” as he sped away from an unmarked police car.

Muddassar Iqbal, of Berry Street, Nelson, pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving at a previous court hearing.

He forced his way out of a space to evade a police car and then, less than two days later, led another officer on a chase which exceeded 100mph.

Preston Crown Court also heard how Iqbal, 28, was disqualified from driving and was not insured to drive the silver Honda Accord.

Prosecuting, Lisa Worsley said at around 9.25pm on Saturday, January 16, 2021, police officers patrolling on Colne Road noticed two cars close together at high speed.

They checked the cars’ number plates and found the Honda was registered to Iqbal and went to Berry Street, where they found the car parked with its headlights on and the driver talking to somebody in a Volkswagen Passat.

The officers recognised the driver as Iqbal and described him looking panicked. He began to rev the engine and jolted the car backwards and forwards repeatedly, looking for an escape route past the police car.

After realising the manoeuvres weren’t helping him, Iqbal reversed the car diagonally and struck the police car, then hit it again as he came forward diagonally and drove away at speed.

Officers decided a high-risk pursuit should not be followed, but PC Archer spoke to Iqbal’s brother the next day and arrangements were made for Iqbal to be interviewed.

At around 3.25am on January 19, another officer noticed the same silver Honda driving along Colne Road in Brierfield and began to follow it.

As he got closer the driver turned off the headlights and, as the Honda turned onto Guildford Street, it stopped so the driver could speak to a man at the roadside.

After finishing the conversation, the Honda reversed towards the unmarked police car at a slow speed, and continued to do this several times throughout being followed.

The officer in the unmarked car described the noise from the exhaust of the Honda as setting off car alarms as it drove past.

At this point the Honda began to drive at significant speed, gaining distance on the unmarked car.

The Honda then ran a red light and the officer was about to pull out of the chase due to the level of danger, but as he turned the corner he saw the silhouette of a car with its rear end in the air and smoke coming out of it.

The Honda had collided with a central crossing island but, due to the speed which Iqbal himself estimated to be around 120mph in a 30mph zone, two cars parked at the roadside - an Audi and a BMW - were written off and significant damage was made to a garden wall.

Mitigating for Iqbal, Mark Stuart said the first incident was very short-lived and there was “insignificant damage” to the police car, but he “did not seek to make the same arguments for the second offence.”

He also said “one can thank modern technology that despite the vehicle being incredibly crushed he managed to survive this.”

Mr Stuart added that Iqbal has suffered severely from his injuries, having to have metal supports put into his spine, and still has problems with his mobility and stability.

Speaking of the January 19 offence, Recorder Daniel Prowse said: “Police called the pursuit off because it was so dangerous but saw in the distance you’d in fact crashed your car. You lost control, hitting a traffic island, writing two other cars off. The car you were travelling in was torn in half.

“Somebody else could have so easily been killed by your driving on that occasion. You could have so easily been killed by your driving on that occasion.

“It could not be clearer the driving you engaged in repeatedly presented danger.”

Recorder Prowse handed Iqbal a total sentence of 18 months, suspended for 20 months.

Iqbal must also complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days, was subject to a curfew from 7pm to 7am for nine months, was banned from driving for four years, and must take an extended re-test.