A man who dangerously drove around Blackburn to evade police has avoided going to prison “by the narrowest of margins.”

Mohammed Tayyab, 27, caused multiple officers, including police helicopters, to chase him around the streets of Blackburn on July 29 last year after failing to stop for them numerous times.

Mercedah Jabbari, prosecuting at Burnley Crown Court, said PC Hunt spotted a dark-coloured Mercedes-Benz close to Roe Lee Surgery at around 1am on that date, driven by the defendant.

He pulled out in front of the officer which caused him to brake heavily to avoid crashing.

Mohammed TayyabMohammed Tayyab (Image: NQ)

As the defendant drove away, he stuck his middle finger up at the officer.

PC Hunt lost sight of the car several times but managed to find it again, and watched Tayyab drive through several red lights, including one at a junction with a 50mph road.

The course of dangerous driving, which lasted for around 45 minutes on and off, happened around Robinson Street, Philips Road, and Whitebirk Drive.

Tayyab was also said to have driven up St James’ Road, a very steep hill, at such high speed that when he and the officer reached the top, the police lost sight of him again.

Eventually, at around 1.40am, Tayyab was stopped by another officer, and when PC Hunt caught up and spoke to the defendant, he said he had not seen the police vehicle and denied putting up his middle finger.

Following his arrest, Tayyab said in an interview he had just come out of a relationship and had a lot going on mentally, and that he did not see the police or the blue lights.

Peter Malone, in mitigation, said Tayyab accepted he was driving dangerously but that “on this particular day he was not thinking and his mind was unfortunately elsewhere.”

Mr Malone also Tayyab acted as a carer for his parents.

Tayyab, of Bastwell Road, Blackburn, has previous convictions relating to drug offences, and has points on his driving licence for contravening a red light and driving without due care and attention.

Judge Daniel Prowse noted from the pre-sentence report Tayyab had told the probation service he would not comply with any orders if he were to receive a suspended sentence.

After granting Mr Malone time to speak with the defendant, he assured the judge this was not the case and he would comply.

Burnley Magistrates' Court, where the case was heard as a Crown Court hearingBurnley Magistrates' Court, where the case was heard as a Crown Court hearing (Image: Archive)

Judge Prowse said: “I’m told you were not thinking at the time of this offence. It’s difficult to see how I can accept that.

“I am prepared to accept you were going through a difficult time in your life.

“You have displayed an exceptionally poor attitude towards the pre-sentence report. I reject that being due to anxiety. I also fail to see why being anxious would lead to you telling probation you would not comply with any appointments.

“This was a prolonged and persistent period of dangerous driving.

“I am just persuaded to give you this opportunity, largely because I do not want to punish your parents. Time will tell whether you are going to make good on your promise of complying with this order.

“If you display the arrogance and the rudeness to probation as you did to the author of the pre-sentence report, you will go to prison. You have avoided going to prison today by the narrowest of margins.”

Judge Prowse sentenced Tayyab to nine months in prison, suspended for 12 months, He must also complete 15 rehabilitation activity days and 200 hours of unpaid work, and is disqualified from driving for 12 months.