A DANGEROUS disqualified driver with a string of previous convictions has been spared jail despite leading police on a chase through residential streets.

Burnley Crown Court heard how an officer in an unmarked police car started following a £20,000 white Mercedes A45 AMG being driven by Kurt Michael Swindlehurst in Bury Road, Haslingden, at 5.30pm on January 2.

Prosecuting, Stephen Parker said when Swindlehurst realised he was being followed he sped off and at that point the officer turned on the blue lights on his vehicle and a pursuit ensued.

Footage from the police car’s dash cam played in court showed the Mercedes driving at 55mph in congested residential areas such as Hazeldene Avenue and Byefield Avenue where the speed limit is 30mph, veering onto the wrong side of the road, before jumping a red light, and failing to stop at ‘give way’ markings.

The police lost sight of the car after it went through the red light, but it was found nearby and 27-year-old Swindlehurst was arrested.

Mr Parker said: “During police interview the defendant accepted he had been in the vehicle. He said it had been on a test drive and he had been the passenger.

“He said the person who had been testing the car had driven away from the police.

“But by his guilty pleas at the lower court he now accepts he was driving.”

Swindlehurst, of Cog Lane, Burnley, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

The court heard Swindlehurst has 45 convictions for 84 offences, including aggravated vehicle taking and a dangerous driving offence from September 2013. As a result of that 2013 conviction he was banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to take an extended re-test.

But Mr Parker said instead of taking the extended re-test Swindlehurst successfully applied for a driving licence under the name “Kane”, meaning he was still disqualified when he committed his latest motoring offence.

Defending, Robert Golinski said his client is a father-of-one who was in the process of setting up a new business. But he had to delay those plans while he awaited the outcome of the court case.

Mr Golinski said: “Obviously it’s bad driving and it’s dangerous driving. It is however extremely short-lived. It’s 20 or 30 seconds.”

Swindlehurst was given an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work, 10 rehabilitation days and attend a thinking skills programme. He was banned from driving for three years and made subject of a three-month curfew.