A businessman who drove dangerously through residential streets in Carlisle as he pursued his terrified former partner for five miles has been jailed for 18 months.

Glenn Shields, 26, drove his Range Rover on the wrong side of the road as he followed the van in which the woman was a passenger along with their eight-week-old daughter.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that he ignored speed limits during the 30-minute chase. At one point, he got out of his car and left it blocking the road while he threatened to kill the woman.

In later court hearings, the defendant, of Cant Crescent, Upperby, admitted to two allegations of dangerous driving and one charge of threatening to damage property.

James Preece, prosecuting, said the victim's ordeal began in the early afternoon of December 19 after she got into a friend's van in Currock.

She had her eight week old daughter with her.

"This defendant is the father of that child," said the barrister. They set off, and were immediately pursued by Shields.

Realising he was being followed, the van's driver As tried to escape, but Shields chased it, breaking speed limits, swerving, braking, and overtook other vehicles as speed.

"At one point," said Mr Preece, "the Range Rover hit or rammed into the van." The victim, Hayley Troughton, said the van had been "flying" during the pursuit, said the barrister.

For some of the time, Miss Troughton was on the phone to Shields, pleading with him stop chasing the van and reminding him that his baby daughter was in the van with her.

A witness, walking along Boundary Road with his two 12-year-old children, saw the Range Rover speeding past on the wrong side of the road and overtaking, forcing a car coming in the opposite direction to brake hard to avoid a crash.

Another witness, walking along the same road with her grandchildren, felt a whoosh of air as the Range Rover passed her, coming within a few inches of her body.

Miss Troughton later told how Shields had threatened to smash her father's car. On Boundary Road, Shields parked his Range Rover in the middle of the carriageway, blocking the van and then approached it, using his fist to knock off one of the wing mirrors.

He was heard threatening to kill whoever was in the van, the court heard.

The defendant's second dangerous driving offence was committed on February 1, when Shields was being hunted by police.

An officer tried to approach him in Westmorland Street, Denton Holme, just after he got into his Range Rover. Noting the officer approaching, and showing his warrant card, Shields reversed away, slamming into a parked van which he owned.

He then sped off.

Josh Bowker, for Shields, said the defendant, a father-of-three, had been upset because he had not been able to see his eight week old daughter. "He reacted poorly," said the barrister, adding that Shields would lose his car repair business if he was given a substantial jail term.

Now taking anti-depressant medication, Shields had referred himself to the Unity drug and alcohol service for help.

Referring to the December offence, Judge Peter Davies told the defendant: "You committed this offence while a little girl, a new born infant, was in that van and you were well aware of it.

"You were stressing the mother, putting the occupants of that van and everyone else, in danger."

The judge said Shields had lied when quizzed him about the second dangerous driving offence, claiming he did not realise he was being approached by a police officer.

Describing Shields' driving as appalling, the judge added: "There has to be a sentence to deter drivers, and protect members of the public."

In addition to the jail term, the judge banned Shields from driving for two years and ordered that he must pass an extended retest before driving unaccompanied again.

The judge imposed a five year restraining order which forbids the defendant from making any contact with Miss Troughton, of going on the street where she lives.

Shields is likely to be freed on licence in nine months' time.