A TEENAGER who told his little sister he was on holiday when he was jailed last summer has vowed to change his ways.

Saeedul Ali, who hopes to get work at a taxi firm, faced a return to custody after he led police on a high speed chase, driving along the pavement to avoid a stinger device.

But after hearing the 18-year-old former drug dealer was ashamed of his past and was trying to get into work a judge spared him jail.

Timothy Naik, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court police saw a light blue BMW on Drakes Way late in the morning of January 3. Their attention was drawn because the driver and passenger both seemed to be slumped down from the officer so he could not see them.

When it emerged the car was not insured or taxed the police decided to follow. The BMW was handled erratically, as if the driver was trying to lose them.

More police were called in and the BMW was tailed as it was driven on the wrong side of the road and through a red light.

It went through the central reservation then back on to the wrong side of the road as a stinger device was deployed. "The car managed to mount the kerb getting away from the stinger that covered most of the carriageway," said Mr Naik.

Ali, of Beckhampton Street, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, no insurance and driving without a licence.The court heard he had a number of previous convictions including drug dealing and was jailed last summer.

Mary Cowe, defending, said he accepted the driving put him at risk of going back to jail, but he was ashamed of his criminal history. "Unprompted, one of the things uppermost in his mind is his seven-year-old sister. He had to lie to his sister that he was on holiday when he was in prison," she said.

Having been thrown out of school at 15 she said he had no qualifications or job and bought the car with a view to selling it on at a profit. She said although a probation officer called him immature it was to his credit that he had not gone back to dealing drugs for criminal gangs.

He had done two weeks working for free at the taxi firm where his dad had a job, with a view to getting taken on as well. The family was due to visit a his grandfather in Bangladesh soon,because he is ill with lung cancer, but if he was spared jail and put on a curfew he would abide by it.

Recorder Noel Casey said "Insofar as dangerous driving is concerned this is a serious matter as your counsel has observed. It is only luck someone wasn't injured in this driving."

He imposed an eight month jail term suspended for a year with 120 hours of unpaid work, a four month curfew, 10 days rehabilitation requirement and 12 hours at the senior attendance centre.

He also banned Ali from the road for a year and until he passes an extended test.