Holidaymaker's Mitsubishi police chase ended when he ran through a hedge

A holiday maker led police on a chase down the M55 after changing his mind about visiting his nan.

Ryan Ridehalgh, 36, was staying in Blackpool with his girlfriend when he received a phone call informing him his nan had received a serious diagnosis. Ridehalgh, who has never passed a driving test, got in his girlfriend's Mitsubishi Outlander and set off to drive back to his family.

However he realised it was a bad decision and turned back half way through the journey, Preston Crown Court heard.

READ MORE: Ex-employee helped himself to 30,000 litres of fuel on company account

David Clarke, prosecuting, told the court police noticed his driving was erratic and suspected he may be under the influence of something. They signalled for him to stop, but Ridehalgh carried on, before turning off the motorway and accelerating to 70mph on a rural road.

He stopped abruptly, on the wrong side of the road, with traffic travelling towards the vehicle. He then got out and jumped through a hedge before being detained by the police.

Officers suspected they could smell intoxicant on the defendant's breath, but he refused to take a breathalyser test at the side of the road. A PNC check showed he was not insured to drive the vehicle and he only had a provisional driving licence, which was out of date.

Ridehalgh, of Rydale Grove, Heysham, was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, but refused to provide a sample of blood. He later pleaded guilty to careless driving, driving without insurance or a valid licence, failing to provide a preliminary sample and failing to provide a sample of blood for analysis.

Jonathan Lally, defending, said Ridehalgh has ADHD which can affect his decision making. He said his client had not committed any offences since 2011 and could work with the probation service to address his thinking skills.

On October 13, he had learned his nan was ill and made the foolish decision to try and drive home to his family. "He wasn't thinking straight or acting in a lucid way," he said.

Recorder Ayesha Siddiqi, sentencing, said: "You don't need me to tell you that the way you behaved could have had very serious consequences for you and other people on the road. There could have been a serious accident due to the way you were driving - especially when you stopped."

She handed down a community order with 15 days of rehabilitation activity requirements and issued a £300 fine. She also banned Ridehalgh from driving for 18 months and said he would have to pass a driving test if he wants to get behind the wheel again.