A BMW driver who led police on a dangerous 140mph chase had a "need for speed".

Michael Shorter tried to outrun police at speeds more than 100mph, with officers chasing him across a two-hour period.

A court was told that it was only luck that nobody was hurt or killed as he sped through 30mph and 40mph zones, smashing the speed limit.

Patrol cars and a police helicopter joined the search for the 33-year-old, who already had nine points on his licence at the time of the chase.

He was eventually brought to stop after police used a stinger to burst the tyres of his £15,000 BMW, which was has now been confiscated by a judge.

After being caught, Shorter told police officers: "All I was doing was driving fast and I got scared.

"I was driving fast. All my points are for speed. I saw the blue lights and got scared.

"Need for speed."

Shorter led police officers on three separate high-speed pursuits over a distance of 10 miles during the night of November 27 last year.

A court heard how Shorter, who enjoyed track days at racing circuits, had been out for dinner and was driving a friend home when he first came to the attention of police.

Shorter, who had drunk three pints with his meal, was seen screeching away from traffic lights, straight into a high speed turn, almost losing control of his car.

Prosecutor Eleanor Lucas said: "He continued to accelerate away, he was swerving on the A27, weaving through traffic at speeds of far in excess of 100mph."

The Argus: Shorter had drunk three pints Shorter had drunk three pints

Police reached speeds of 142mph but were unable to catch Shorter, with officers describing his dark blue BMW as turning into a speck in the distance as he zoomed off.

Officers once again gave chase after a police helicopter spotted the BMW at the Washington roundabout, heading west towards Storrington at 10.14pm.

However, they were unable to get anywhere near Shorter, watching in horror as he hit 95mph in a 40mph zone.

They pulled off when the chase became too risky - losing sight of Shorter while he was doing 80mph in a 30mph zone.

Police continued to follow Shorter, and he put his foot down once again when he spotted a police car in a lay-by on the A27 at 11.45pm.

Ms Lucas said: "He was driving at the speed limit apparently unaware of the police car behind him.

"He passed stationary police vehicle in lay-by and accelerated away at 120mph.

"Police were going at 130mph but were unable to make up any ground."

Shorter was seeing driving at 100mph in a 40mph zone, overtaking another police car which also joined the chase.

After officers used a stinger on his tyres, Shorter pulled over and got out of the car with his hands up.

He then resisted arrested, with police officers forcing him to the floor, bringing the whole incident to an end at 11.51pm.

Shorter, an electrical installation firm manager, passed a drink-driving test following the high-speed pursuit.

He appeared at Lewes Crown Court where he admitted dangerous driving and obstructing police.

A judge told Shorter he had been idiotic and banned him from the roads for two years.

Judge Roger Chapple told him: "Your driving has been described as ludicrous and most certainly it was and utterly dangerous.

"This was sustained bad driving for over ten miles.

"You had no chance of controlling a car at those speeds in those conditions.

"It was the height of stupidity."

Shorter was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

As well as having his car confiscated, Shorter will have to pay costs and surcharges totalling £553.

He will have to pass an extended test after the end of his driving ban.