A TEENAGER drove through eight sets of red traffic lights and avoided a police stinger by mounting a pavement.
Bolton Crown Court heard how Lucas Hughes, who had no licence or insurance, was at the wheel of a Ford Ka which failed to stop for police on the afternoon of March 11.
The court was shown a video of 19-year-old Hughes’ drive through parts of Bolton and Bury taken from the police helicopter.
Hughes was seen driving on the wrong side of the road, overtaking other vehicles through Bradshaw, Harwood, Affetside,Tonge Moor, along Crompton Way and Thicketford Road before he and two passengers abandoned the vehicle in Gibson Street.
Rachel Faux, prosecuting said police had deployed a stinger to stop the vehicle, but Hughes spotted it and drove onto the pavement to avoid it.
As Hughes and his passengers fled the police helicopter directed officers and all three were arrested.
Miss Faux said that Hughes accepted his driving at the time had been dangerous.
He explained why he had not stopped when he realised he was being followed by the helicopter.
“He thought the helicopter could only fly for an hour and would run out of fuel before he would,” said Miss Faux.
Hughes, of Sandown Crescent, Little Hulton, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and having no licence or insurance.
Gordon Hennell, defending, stressed: “It is more by luck than good management that there was no collision and no one suffered any injury.”
He added that Hughes, who lives with his bricklayer father and teaching assistant mother, is remorseful.
“This is not by any means the worst possible case [of driving] although it is a bad case,” said Mr Hennell.
Recorder Mark Ainsworth sentenced Hughes to an intensive community order with a three-month 9pm to 5am curfew.
In addition he must participate in 35 days of rehabilitation activities and is banned from holding a driving licence for 18 months, after which he will have to take an extended test. The court also ordered that he forfeit the Ford Ka.