A 22-YEAR-OLD banned driver sped his car through Darwen at over 60mph before crashing out of control and ending up on the pavement, a court heard.

Blackburn magistrates were told Stefan Grant drove down the centre of Bolton Road on Tuesday, forcing other cars to mount the kerb as they tried to get out of the way. When he reached the junction with Railway Road, Grant drove through a red light at more than 50mph without making any attempt to stop or check for other traffic.

Grant, 22, of Blackburn Road, Darwen, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop and possession of amphetamine. The magistrates ruled that their powers of punishment were inadequate and Grant was committed in custody to Preston Crown Court for sentence.

Eddie Harrison, prosecuting, said the incident started when police saw Grant driving a Toyota Carina on Lloyd Street. They followed the car into Heys Lane where they put on their stop lights and sirens.

"The defendant refused to stop and a pursuit took place," said Mr Harrison.

Grant made no attempt to stop as he drove on to the A666 and cars were immediately forced to swerve to avoid a collision. Grant's speed reached above 60mph.

"He was driving down the centre of the carriageway, forcing oncoming vehicles to mount the pavement," said Mr Harrison. "He went into the one way system at more than 50mph, forcing another vehicle off the road."

Grant then went through the red light at the junction with Railway Road. The rear tyre of his vehicle had deflated as a result of hitting the kerb and it began to "fish tail".

"The car hit a parked van before spinning out of control, mounting the pavement and coming to rest near to the junction with Foundry Street," said Mr Harrison. "We say it was a matter of pure luck that there were not more serious consequences of this deliberate course of dangerous driving."

Elliott Taylforth, defending, said his client accepted his driving had been "woeful" and fully expected a custodial sentence.

"He drove off because he knew he was banned and there was a warrant out for his arrest but in all honesty he knew his fate as soon as he saw the blue light."