A DRIVER who led police on an early hours chase while subject to a suspended jail term is behind bars for 18 months.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Peter McCauley, 21, was seen by officers in an unmarked police car.

They watched him brake and slow down quickly for a speed camera and witnessed the back of the vehicle rise when the brake lights came on.

The police decided to try to get the vehicle to pull over, but it drove off at high speed, took a sharp turn without stopping at a junction, shot out into the main road on two wheels and went through lights.

A siren and emergency lights pursuit took place as the vehicle went along Blackburn Road in Haslingden.

Officers lost sight of McCauley, who ended up hitting a garden wall, abandoning the car and fleeing. They found both doors open and the keys in the ignition.

Police went to the address of the registered keeper, who was clearly drunk, and found the defendant hiding in the attic in a sleeping bag.

McCauley, of Rhyddings Street, Oswaldtwistle, admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and driving without insurance, in breach of the suspended term on September 27, 2013.

The defendant, who has 11 offences on his record, including a conviction for aggravated vehicle taking, was banned for two years and must take an extended driving test.

The court was told McCauley had received 11 months in prison, suspended for 18 months last March.

Daniel King, for the defendant, said he had been out with his friend who drank more than they expected and was unfit to drive so McCauley drove .

Mr King said: “His account is a vehicle pulled up next to them. He had no idea who it was. He panicked and drove off.”

Mr King said McCauley had a 20-month-old child and was hoping to work in the near future.

Sentencing, Recorder Roderick Carus, QC, said the defendant had a bad record, mainly suggestive of the fact he had a ‘bad-tempered and violent nature’.

He said: “This was a bad piece of driving.

“It was wild and uncontrolled and lasted nearly two miles. A number of junctions were navigated, at one stage on two wheels.”

The judge invoked nine months of the suspended term and added nine months on top.