A DANGEROUS drink driver who undertook an unmarked police car before accelerating to 120mph has been spared jail.

Mosque volunteer Tariq Khan had not realised he was tailgating a police officer when he drove behind the unmarked car in the fast lane of the M5 near Worcester, flashing his lights.

The 46-year-old father admitted dangerous driving when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Monday.

John Brotherton, prosecuting, said the incident happened between junction 6 (Worcester) and junction 4a (Bromsgrove) at 6.15pm on July 23 last year.

He described how a police officer was driving at 75mph in lane three of the motorway when he saw Khan in an Audi Q7 'approaching quickly from behind' before undertaking him, sparking a pursuit.

"He's then said to accelerate to 110mph initially" said Mr Brotherton.

The officer activated his blue lights and sirens as Khan increased his speed still further to 120mph, later telling officers he had not seen the blue lights or heard the sirens. The chase was captured on the unmarked car's on board camera which showed Khan undertaking other vehicles and straddling the lines marking the motorway's lanes.

The defendant pulled into a refuge area. Mr Brotherton said Khan 'appeared intoxicated' and failed a roadside breath test.

Khan was taken to Kidderminster Police Station where an evidential reading of 45mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath was recorded, above the legal limit of 35mcg. No separate charge was put for driving with excess alcohol but it was taken as an aggravating feature of the dangerous driving.

He said: "It was prolonged bad driving involving deliberate disregard for the safety of others."

Mr Brotherton further described the driving as 'aggressive' but said Khan made full admissions in interview.

Lee Egan, for Khan, said his client had expressed remorse, had been insured at the time and was 'effectively of good character'.

He said Khan, 'the sole breadwinner' for his family, had been taking his partner to see their daughter in hospital in Redditch and 'pulled over as soon as he saw the lights and heard the sirens'.

The advocate provided references on his client's behalf, including from his place of work at Central Furniture Manufacturing in Birmingham. He told the court Khan cared for his parents, a father in his 80s and mother in her 70s.

"He also volunteers at the local mosque" said Mr Egan.

The barrister told the judge that an immediate custodial sentence 'will result in a significant harmful impact upon others'.

Judge James Burbidge QC, the Recorder of Worcester, described Khan's driving as 'aggressive and wanton'.

"You started to flash your lights in a boorish manner which some of us have seen on our motorways. You demanded the right of way but did not know in front of you was a police vehicle. You apparently did that because you were going to hospital. You might have ended up in hospital by driving in the manner you did," he said.

The judge sentenced him to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months and placed him on a two month electronically monitored curfew daily between 9pm and 6am.

He will have to remain indoors between these hours at the address given to the court - Coppice Road, Moseley.

Khan was banned from driving for 18 months and must complete an extended driving retest after the ban.

He was further ordered to pay £100 costs. A victim surcharge also applies and will be drawn up administratively.