A MAN was told he was "lucky to be alive" after a court heard how he reached speeds of 95mph before crashing his car and landing upside down on the centre of a roundabout.

At Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court, Katy Laverty, prosecuting, described how Gerald Brannigan, 30, had not even passed his driving test when he got behind the wheel of an Audi on May 29 last year.

At around 1am in the morning, a police patrol spotted Brannigan driving on Bury New Road in Whitefield without his lights on.

Officers pulled up alongside and following a brief conversation, the driver drove off at speed and a pursuit started.

Ms Laverty said the vehicle reached speeds between 90mph and 100mph in a 30mph area before failing to negotiate a roundabout where Bury New Road meets the M60 at Junction 17 and crashing through the metal protective barriers.

Ms Laverty said: "The vehicle became airborne and frankly he is lucky to be alive.

"The defendant and his vehicle landed some 40 metres inside the roundabout in a subway area, uprooted a tree and came to rest upside down adjacent to the M60 motorway."

Subsequent enquires showed the vehicle had false number plates and Brannigan, of Burton Avenue, Didsbury, had neither a valid driving license or insurance and had never held a driving license.

A blood sample taken at hospital showed evidence of cannabis use above the legal limit.

Ms Laverty added Brannigan had ten previous convictions for 18 offences including similar driving offences.

Hayley Bennett, defending, said Brannigan, a father of four, had bought the car for "a very small amount of money from someone he knew on Facebook".

"Effectively he bought this car with the last of his money as somewhere to sleep," she said. "He describes what he has done as 'stupid and impulsive' and he wishes he could take it back.

"One reason he was driving was because he was lonely - he had no contact, was isolated and didn't work throughout the pandemic and went to assist a friend with some decorating."

Recorder Nicholas Clarke QC described Brannigan, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without a license, driving without insurance, failure to stop and driving while above the legal limit for cannabis, as "an outlaw" who ignored any punishments imposed by the courts.

"It is a miracle that no other car collided with you," said Recorder Clarke QC. "You are lucky that you or anybody else were not killed and I do not think for a moment that I have believed much of what you have told your counsel to suggest on your behalf."

He handed Brannigan a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years and a six month curfew.

He will also have to attend 10 rehabilitation requirement activity days and will be disqualified from driving for three years.

Recorder Clarke added: "I am very concious that we are about to come out of lockdown, better weather is upon is and people generally will be able to associate more freely and drink outside public houses.

"I am going to take that away from you by ordering a curfew for the next six months so all this summer while your friends are enjoying their freedom you will have to be in your home from 8pm until 7am. That is a serious impingement on your liberty and a proper punishment."