A MECHANIC with five previous driving bans has avoided jail after police were forced to chase the speeding motorcyclist through Swindon.

But magistrates warned the Upper Stratton man he could be assured of a prison spell if he put another foot wrong.

Kiran Jackson had been fixing the Reiju Marathon 125 bike for a client when he took it out for a spin to check the brakes on Monday, June 24.

But he was spotted by officers in an undercover patrol car, who suspected the 26-year-old was flouting the speed limit.

Defending, Emma Charleton said her client had panicked when he saw he was being chased by police.

Swindon Magistrates’ Court was told Jackson has five previous driving bans and last year was given a month’s imprisonment after again being found behind the wheel.

“The first he knew was when the police vehicle pulled up in front of him with its blue lights on,” said Ms Charleton.

“He stops his vehicle, panics, knows he’s disqualified, is in fear of what will happen and drives off.”

Police officers recognised Jackson’s face, however, and later visited his home. Speaking to officers on the phone, the young man said he would hand himself in.

Interviewed by police, Jackson admitted it was him on the motorcycle. He explained he was in debt, had struggled to get a job as a mechanic, in supermarkets or with job agencies after his most recent prison spell, had temporarily lost his benefits and had turned to freelance mechanics’ work as a way of earning money on which to live.

Ms Charleton said: “Really through desperation he was offered work to do some mechanics, effectively self-employed.

“He fixed brakes and felt it wasn’t safe to return the motorcycle without testing them.”

Jackson, of Addison Crescent, Upper Stratton, appeared to cry as he sat in the dock at Swindon Magistrates’ Court, dabbing at his eyes with a tissue. He pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance and failing to stop.

Magistrates sentenced him to four months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months after hearing from the probation service that they could work with Jackson on critical thinking skills. He must do 220 hours' unpaid work, complete 20 rehabilitation activity days and pay £155 in costs and victim surcharge.

Diana Crockett, chairman of the bench, said: “You did give an early guilty plea and you did cooperate and give full and frank confessions to the police.

“We are clearly aware of the number of disqualifications you have had and we have also noted you have served a time in prison. As a result, you are under no illusion about the possibility of prison today.”

After the sentence was read, Ms Crockett added: “You must be aware if you do this again you will be imprisoned."