A MOTORIST stopped by a police officer who suspected he was speeding nearly twice the limit was a banned driver, a court heard.

Aaron Butler claimed he had been testing a car he was repairing for a friend when he was stopped by officers in Barrow.

Police officers said he had been driving at 35mph - nearly double the speed limit - on Risedale Road on January 3.

It transpired Butler, 35, was disqualified from driving and not insured to drive the car, South Cumbria Magistrates' Court heard.

Butler admitted driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Describing the incident, prosecutor Nicola Mills said: "At 9pm officers were on mobile patrol when they saw a black Renault travelling at speed on Risedale Road.

"The motorist was travelling at 35mph in a 20mph zone.

"Emergency lights were deployed and the vehicle was stopped. The front side passenger alighted from the vehicle and ran off.

"PC Heron went after a female passenger and the other officer remained with the defendant.

"The officer recognised him as Aaron Butler as he was known to the officer in question.

"The officer asked him if the vehicle was his he said: 'No it's not'.

"He asked him if he was insured to drive the vehicle and he said no."

The defendant told the officer he had been carrying out repairs to the vehicle and needed to test it.

Checks showed he had no driving licence having been banned for 15 months in May last year.

In mitigation, Michael Graham told the court the car he was repairing belonged to a friend he was helping.

He said Butler was 'kicking himself' over the incident.

Mr Graham disputed whether the driver was going at 35mph, saying it was the subjective opinion of the officer.

Magistrates sentenced Butler to a 12-month community order requiring him to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work.

He was also handed a five-month driving ban and told to pay a £114 victim surcharge and £85 in costs.

Magistrates warned him not to drive until his ban was complete in November.