A 91-YEAR-OLD driver mistakenly led police on a 15 mile pursuit on a motorway – when he confused a marked patrol car with flashing lights for a gritting lorry.

Gordon Lee was driving in the middle lane when officers did a check of his vehicle registration, which revealed he had no licence or insurance.

Despite putting on their lights and sirens, the pensioner continued at 70 mph, even indicating to overtake other vehicles.

The pensioner said signs on the M27 between Fareham and Portsmouth said gritting was in progress and so he confused the police car for a lorry dispensing grit.

Aldershot Magistrates' Court heard officers in a marked police car had seen Lee driving in the middle lane of the M27 despite there being nothing on the inside lane.

When they realised he had no licence or insurance, the officers switched on their blue lights but Lee only moved over to the inside lane.

Prosecutor Paul Matcham told the court: "At around 7.40 in the evening on January 7 this year, two officers driving a marked police car and in uniform spotted Mr Lee driving in the middle lane on the M27.

"Mr Lee was driving his green Ford Fiesta between Portsmouth and Fareham - he was doing the speed limit and he was in the middle lane.

"There was no reason for him to be in the middle lane and a check of his registration revealed he had no insurance policy.

"The officers put on their blue lights and the Fiesta moved to the inside lane, but did not stop.

"Mr Lee continued to drive, he maintained the speed limit and indicated as he overtook other vehicles and again as he moved back to the inside lane.

"He did not react to the lights on the police vehicle. It was dark but the officers said there was nothing between their car and Mr Lee's car.

"The officers activated the sirens, but this had no affect, so they pulled alongside Mr Lee to get his attention.

"But he did not notice the marked car alongside him.

"This continued until he eventually exited the motorway at Eastleigh, 15 miles from where they began following him."

Mr Matcham added: "As Mr Lee drove down the exit slip road, he stopped at some red traffic lights.

"One of the officers got out the car and went to his window and he said 'what have I done'."

Representing himself, Mr Lee said he thought his insurance had been sorted by his grandson and that he had forgotten to renew his licence in 2005.

He added: "There were signs on the motorway saying gritting in progress.

"I thought [the police car] was a gritting lorry."

Lee, from Eastleigh, had also crashed while driving a blue Ford Ka in July last year, again without insurance or a licence.

He admitted one count of driving without due care or attention.

He also admitted two counts of driving without a licence and two for having no insurance.

Magistrates handed him 16 penalty points, and disqualified him from driving for six months.

They also issued him with a £420 fine and ordered he must pay £40 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Chairwoman of the board Sue Cubitt said: "You are what we call a totter, you have totted-up a number of penalty points.

"If you wish to drive again in six months, you must take an extended re-test and then you will have to apply for your licence, it would not be issued automatically.

"If you are caught driving a car while you are disqualified you could be arrested and sent to prison."

Lee replied: "I won't be."