A "DRUGGED UP" driver put other people's safety at risk by leading police on a high-speed chase through a Hampshire town.

Carl Hastings repeatedly accelerated in a bid to evade the officers and almost lost control of the vehicle as well as driving through a red light.

Hastings, whose girlfriend was also in the car, reached speeds of 50mph in a built-up area as he tried to flee.

At Southampton Crown Court he was led sobbing from the dock after being jailed for ten months for dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

Mary Aspinall-Miles, prosecuting, said police were on patrol in Lymington Road, New Milton, when they saw a Ford Focus turn left "at the last minute".

Describing the chase that followed Ms Aspinall-Miles said Hastings ended up on the wrong side of the road, putting people on the pavement at risk, as well as jumping a red light in a bid to evade the police.

At one stage, she said, officers saw the back of the Focus "skidding around" as he struggled to keep control of the car.

Police later found the vehicle abandoned near the flat where the defendant lived with his parents.

Hastings was subsequently found to be just under the drink-drive limit but a blood sample provided evidence that he had taken cocaine, the court heard.

Gemma White, defending, said: "He's a young man who very much recognises the potential danger he caused to others and takes full responsibility for his actions."

Referring to the recent death of the defendant's father she added: "He also recognises that life is too short for him to continue to behave in the way he has done in the past.

"This might be the wake up call that he needs."

Judge Gary Burrell QC told him: "This was a very dangerous case of dangerous driving. You drove at speeds well excess of the speed limit in a built-up area.

"You nearly lost control of the vehicle on one or two occasions, putting not only yourself at risk but your passenger and others who might have been in the area.

"One of the aggravating features is that you were drugged up."

Hastings, 29, of Osborne House, New Milton, admitted dangerous driving and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

As well as being jailed for ten months he was banned from driving for 18 months.