A menace spotted driving erratically has been locked up after his latest incident of criminal driving while high on cocaine.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard a witness followed the Toyota Prius driven by Asian Najeeb for 20 minutes as it travelled along Haslingden Old Road towards Blackburn on May 12, 2023.

He saw the vehicle repeatedly swerving onto the opposite carriageway, hitting the far kerb on at least three occasions.

After being stopped by police, Najeeb tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the derivative of cocaine. He had 157 micrograms of drug per litre of blood, more than three times the legal limit of 50mcg.

Najeeb, 34, of Bastwell Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, drug driving and possession of cannabis.

He was jailed for 26 weeks and banned from driving for four years and three months, with a requirement to pass an extended re-test.

District Judge Alexandra Preston said Najeeb was clearly a “menace” on the roads.

“You clearly don’t think the law applies to you and you don’t learn from your past mistakes,” said District Judge Preston.

“You were in possession of drugs and you were on drugs and the offences were made worse by your history of committing similar offences.”

Bilal Saeed, prosecuting, said the witness noticed the car in front, driving from Haslingden towards Blackburn, being driven in a highly erratic manner.

He initially thought the driver in front was on his mobile phone but was so concerned by the manner of his driving that he contacted the police.

“He followed the defendant’s vehicle and saw it repeatedly swerving into the opposite carriageway, forcing oncoming vehicles to take evasive action,” said Mr Saeed. 

He said Najeeb had been convicted of dangerous driving in 2013 and disqualified driving in 2016.

Bill Rostron, mitigating, said his client accepted the standard of his driving had been extremely poor.

This was the third time in as many months that Najeeb has appeared before magistrates, having been called before the courts twice in December but failing to turn up both times for pretending to be a taxi driver.

The first time, on December 14, at Manchester Magistrates' Court, was for driving his Prius and plying for hire when not a licensed hackney carriage taxi on February 17, 2022, and driving as private hire without the proper licence on December 17, 2023.

All charges were proven in his absence and he was fined a total of £2,644 which had to be paid by January 11.

Then, on December 22, he was due before Tameside Magistrates' Court for driving without insurance on December 17, and was fined a further £1,014 and banned from driving for six months then, with the fine due by January 19.