A MAN drove at twice the speed limit and forced cars to swerve off the road because he thought the Spanish police were chasing him, a court heard yesterday.

Darren Keats, 38, of Colne Drive, Didcot, believed he was being pursued by the Spanish authorities because he had forgotten to take drugs to calm a psychiatric disorder.

Oxford Crown Court was told Keats made offensive gestures to a police car following him and was involved in a scuffle with officers, which left one of them with a cut head. Jonathan Stone, prosecuting, said police had first noticed Keats on the A34 when they thought he was texting on a mobile phone.

They followed him off the A34 at the Milton Interchange and put on their blue lights when he began weaving across the road.

Mr Stone said: “The defendant then sped up to about 60mph in a 30mph limit. As he approached Didcot, he was trying to overtake cars, forcing those approaching in the opposite direction to swerve to avoid him.”

Edward Culver, defending, said his client had not taken medication that day and thought he was being chased by Spanish police.

Keats admitted a charge of dangerous driving last month.

Judge Anthony King gave him an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 15 months, 80 hours’ community service, banned him from driving for two years and ordered him to pay £750 costs.