A DRIVER led police on a terrifying high speed chase through Bewdley when he was behind the wheel of a stolen car after taking a cocktail of cocaine and cannabis.

As he jailed Kasim Ajmal for a year, Recorder Greg Kelly said: "You drove so dangerously for so long putting other people at significant risk while you were under the influence of drugs."

A police officer gave chase after he saw Ajmal driving at speed in Clows Top and the Astra - stolen five months earlier - went the wrong way round a traffic island on the Bewdley by-pass as other patrol cars joined in the pursuit.

Ian Ball, prosecuting, said the Astra consistently hit high speeds and went through four sets of traffic lights on red as it headed towards Dudley.

He told Wolverhampton Crown Court the car then went along the wrong side of a dual carriageway before driving over a grass verge to avoid getting trapped in a dead end.

Three men in the vehicle, which came to a stop in Oliver Street, then ran away but Ajmal who was banned from driving was arrested when he was seen walking along nearby Cromwell Street.

Investigating officers then found a water bottle inside the abandoned Astra which carried Ajmal's DNA and tests later revealed he had cocaine and cannabis in his system.

Ajmal, aged 23, of Watson Green Road, Kates Hill, Dudley admitted driving dangerously and while disqualified and he was further told he must not drive for the next two years.

Seamran Sidhu, defending,agreed it was down to good fortune that no-one had been injured in the 24 mile police chase.

She told the court Ajmal had been a law abiding citizen but things started to go wrong after he was involved in a serious road accident five years ago.