A Southport drug dealer who led police on an hour-long car chase at speeds of up to 130mph and along the wrong carriageway of a motorway has been jailed for five years.

Adam Blowes of Knowsley Road, Southport drove a stolen Audi for 48 miles while being pursued by police before he was arrested after running into the Park Royal Hotel in Stretton and hiding in a store cupboard.

Last Friday, the 27-year-old was jailed for five years at Chester Crown Court.

The court heard that the Audi A5 was reported stolen from Liverpool city centre in May, before being sighted 10 days later in the Preston area travelling towards the M6.

Police attempted to stop the vehicle, but Blowes drove off at high speed – an ensuing chase lasted 50 minutes, with officers describing ‘a number of near misses’ between Blowes and other vehicles before the car was halted on Tarporley Road.

Followed by a police helicopter for the entire pursuit, Blowes drove at speeds of up to 130mph on the M6 and was seen in Birchwood ‘travelling at extremely high speeds in built-up areas’, coming ‘extremely close’ to hitting oncoming vehicles while driving on the wrong side of Knutsford Road.

He then drove on the hard shoulder of the M56 in the wrong direction ‘for a significant period of time at high speed’ between junction 11 at Daresbury and junction 10 at Stretton, before being stopped by a spike strip.

When the vehicle came to a halt near to the Cat and Lion pub, Blowes fled the vehicle and ran through nearby fields before entering the Park Royal Hotel through a fire door.

After a search, police located him in a store cupboard full of ping pong tables -Blowes refused to come out of the closet, with officers drawing their Tasers before he surrendered.

Two bags of cocaine were found on him, with further drugs found secreted in his body and at his home address; in total, cocaine with a value of £700 was discovered – with Blowes described as a ‘street dealer’.

He appeared in court walking with the aid of a crutch, after an assault while on remand in prison left him with ruptured ankle ligaments.

At an earlier hearing in July, he admitted dangerous driving, possession of cocaine with intent to supply, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance – a further charge of aggravated vehicle taking was ordered to lie on the file.

The court heard that Blowes, who has two previous convictions for dangerous driving and another two relating to the supply of drugs, was addicted to cocaine but has since taken ‘positive steps’.

His honour Judge Nicholas Woodward jailed Blowes for 60 months; he will serve half of this sentence before being released on license, and was also banned from driving for a further four-and-a-half years.

Sentencing, Judge Woodward said: “In all, you drove dangerously for 48 miles and on a number of occasions there was a real risk of collisions that would have caused injuries or even worse.

“This is as bad a case of dangerous driving that a court will encounter.

“The reality is that you are a person with an unenviable criminal record which is a significant and seriously aggravating feature of this case.

“You had only recently come out of custody having served a sentence for the supply of drugs and you have simply gone back to your trade.”