A ‘MANIAC’ driver in a high-speed police chase was at the wheel of a car he had bought with a whiplash payout from a car smash, a court head.

Kurt Swindlehurst, 21, who had no insurance, or licence, clocked up 60mph in quiet residential Burnley streets, shot across a main road without stopping, and almost hit a wall when he finally abandoned the Volkswagon Golf, and made off.

Officers in pursuit lost the car in a cloud of smoke as it accelerated away from them in the night-time incident on June 10.

Swindlehurst, who has 63 offences on his record, has breached court orders 20 times, but was said to be complying with his most recent sentence, and was growing up, and not breaking the law as much, Burnley Crown Court was told.

He had served time on remand for the offences and had been on a curfew for 65 days, the equivalent of a 10-month sentence.

A judge gave him a chance to show he was trying to go on the straight and narrow and didn’t jail him.

Swindlehurst, of Cog Lane, Burnley, admitted dangerous driv-ng, no licence, and no insur-ance. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, with 200 hours of unpaid work, and was banned for a year. He was ordered to take an extended retest.

Philip Holden, for Swindlehurst, said he had ‘quite a dread- ful record’, but it had trailed off in the last couple of years and showed a marked improvement.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said: “He was driving like a maniac and somebody could have appeared, from anywhere.”