A teenager who led police on a prolonged chase reaching speeds of 90mph through a town centre claimed he was fearful for his life.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, hurtled towards oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road at three times the 30mph speed limit.
Only a fire coming from underneath the black Volkswagen Golf forced the banned driver to abandon the vehicle, Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard.
His solicitor said explained that he got behind the wheel because his former group of friends had threatened to shoot him.
The teenager pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop, driving while disqualified and using a vehicle without insurance.
He caught the attention of police when he drove along Vicarage Road in Dewsbury at 7.30pm on August 17.
Checks on the Police National Computer showed that he held no insurance and the officers followed the car as it turned onto Long Causeway in Thornhill.
Alex Bozman, prosecuting, said: “They illuminated their blue lights and the defendant accelerated and there was a police pursuit.
“He reached speeds of up to three times the permitted speed which was 30mph.
“The defendant drove on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic, overtaking traffic and going onto pavements.
“He overtook on a blind corner at 40mph and there seemed to be a fire coming from underneath the car due to a mechanical problem.”
This meant that the car could go no further and it came to a stop.
The teenager then fled from the car and was detained by police following a foot chase.
Kevin Walker, mitigating, explained that his client had been hanging around with the wrong crowd and angered them after trying to distance himself from them.
He said: “As a consequence his former friends have been making threats towards his life.
“He had been getting phone calls threatening to come to his house and shoot him and he felt intimidated and scared to be at home.
“On this particular day he went into town and was in fear of bumping into one of them.
“His friend offered him the use of his vehicle so he didn’t have to walk or use public transport.”
Mr Walker added that the teenager from the Batley area panicked when he saw police and accepted that his driving was very poor.
Magistrates described his behaviour as “absolute madness” and ordered a full report ahead of his sentencing.
This will take place on September 25 and he was banned from driving in the interim.