A TEENAGER who bought a car for £600 via Facebook led police on a 90mph chase through residential streets.

Bolton Crown Court heard how 18-year-old Shakeel Jones was so keen to drive that he bought the Seat Leon and got behind the wheel without a licence or insurance.

And then, when he was spotted by police on the morning of February 12, he drove it dangerously, speeding through red lights and hurtling along the wrong side or the carriageway before bringing the car to a halt in a layby and giving himself up.

Robert Smith, prosecuting, said Jones checked whether police were following him, at 11.20am, by doubling back on himself and when he realised they were, sped off up Chorley Old Road, ignoring officers' requests for him to stop.

"He continued at speeds of up to 50mph in a 30mph zone and proceeded through a red light at a pedestrian crossing where a pedestrian was waiting to cross at the nearside," said Mr Smith, who added that Jones also narrowly avoided a collision by overtaking a car as it was turning right into Captains Clough Road.

Jones sped up Markland Hill Lane and Old Kiln Lane at 70mph, turning into Walker Fold Road from Chorley Old Road, then hurtled along Scout Road at up to 90mph.

"The defendant eventually slowed his vehicle down before stopping in a layby," said Mr Smith.

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When arrested Jones told police he had bought the car on Facebook and knew he had no insurance or licence

"He suggested he did not know that he would have required L plates and somebody to supervise his driving as a learner driver," said Mr Smith.

"He accepted that his driving was dangerous and said that he just wanted to get away from police."

Jones, now aged 19, of Torrington Avenue, Bolton, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and having no licence or insurance.

Nicholas Ross, defending, said Jones' driving was "sheer folly and stupidity. Eventually he came to his senses and realised that the only sensible decision was to stop."

Describing Jones as "naive", Mr Ross stressed that no damage or injury was caused.

"He has an ambition to gain a driving licence but clearly he has not gone about it the right way," he said.

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Judge Timothy Stead sentenced Jones to a community sentence for two years during which he must undertake 120 hours of unpaid work and participate in thinking skills and rehabilitation activities for 20 days.

He was also banned from applying for a driving licence for two years, after which he must take an extended test and he was ordered to pay £200 towards prosecution costs.

The judge told Jones: "I think it's appropriate that I don't mark your case with a custodial term. You're on the threshold of your life and it's better that you get on with it lawfully. This is the only blemish.

"It was an offence which arose out of folly and an element of inexperience and panic rather than considered badness on your part."

The judge added that buying the car when Jones neither had a licence nor insurance was a case of him wanting "run before you could walk".