A MOTORIST being pursued by police sped through residential Carlisle streets, at times doing twice the speed limit and straying on to the wrong side of the road.

Magistrates at the city's Rickergate court told 32-year-old Andrew Mitchell his offence was so serious that he will have to be sentenced by a crown court judge.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Peter Kelly, prosecuting, gave a brief outline of the defendant's bad driving, which happened on April 16 last year.

The defendant was fleeing from police and drove dangerously on several of the city's busiest roads, including London Road, Petteril Bank Road, Eastern Way, Newbiggin Road, and also the B5299 towards Dalston.

Mr Kelly said: "The defendant was effectively involved in a police pursuit, which started at 10.20am on April 16, with the police following after him and effectively pursuing the defendant through the city, at times in heavy traffic and at speeds which were twice the legal limit."

There were times when Mitchell was driving at oncoming traffic as he carried out numerous overtaking manoeuvres, putting them in jeopardy, said Mr Kelly.

The prosecutor said police ultimately used a "stinger device" to puncture the tyres of the defendant's Ford Focus.

Mr Kelly added: "It was prolonged bad driving, showing a deliberate disregard for other road users, and involving excessive speed on roads in built-up areas.

"It is not suitable to be dealt with in this court."

Defence lawyer John Smith said Mitchell, of Ullswater Road, Carlisle, did not necessarily agree with every aspect of the prosecutor's outline of the offence but it was agreed that the case should go to the crown court.

Magistrates sent the case to that court for a sentencing hearing on February 11.

Mitchell was granted bail but told that he is now subject to an interim driving ban.