A DANGEROUS driver from Kidderminster told a judge he dodged a court hearing because he was 'on the run'.

David Baldwin gave the frank answer when he was asked to account for his absence from a previous court hearing by Judge Nicholas Cole at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday, May 11.

The 38-year-old defendant, who appeared unrepresented, had been arrested and brought to court on a bench warrant.

Baldwin, of no fixed abode but formerly of Sebright Avenue, Kidderminster, had already admitted dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and driving while disqualified on March 19 this year.

However, he failed to attend the court on April 27 when he was due to be sentenced for the offences to which he had already pleaded guilty.

Judge Cole said Baldwin's driving had been 'really dangerous' and he was 'well over the limit' at the time.

He added: "He has a previous conviction for drink driving. It's a three year disqualification minimum.

"He was disqualified at the time which ordinarily attracts custody. He's clearly facing a custodial sentence."

Speaking to the defendant the judge said: "Is there a reason why you did not attend on April 27?"

"I was on the run" said Baldwin.

Last June, Baldwin was jailed for 51 weeks after he admitted assault by beating, harassment by breaching a restraining order, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance on May 13 last year.

Baldwin, whose former partner had ended their relationship, threatened to cut her throat and drive them both to their deaths in the river Severn.

Lal Amarasinghe, prosecuting, said he understood Baldwin's solicitor had applied for legal aid on his behalf for the more recent offences but solicitors were still waiting to hear whether the application had been successful. This process is expected to take between two and three weeks.

The defendant did not make a bail application and he was remanded in custody until May 30.

This was to allow time for the probation service to prepare an all-options pre-sentence report and for the legal aid application to be processed.