A TEENAGER, who was twice caught driving stolen cars, was spared jail by a judge who congratulated him on getting on a job in traffic management.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Luke Conway, 18, led police officers on a high speed chase in a stolen Audi through Bolton reaching speeds of almost 90mph during a 15 minute long pursuit in January this year.

The incident came just days after Conway was seen behind the wheel of a Vauxhall Mokka which was taken during a burglary in Wigan.

John Kennerley, prosecuting, said an Audi, which had been stolen during an armed robbery in Bolton on January 9 was spotted with false plates on Blackburn Road, Bolton, on January 10.

A pursuit started involving two police vehicles and a helicopter as Conway accelerated away reaching a top speed of 87mph as he sped through Astley Bridge with a female passenger alongside him.

Conway, of Spinning Meadows, Bolton, drove through a number of red lights, on the wrong side of the road and mounted the pavement during the chase which ended when he collided with six cars on Chorley Old Road and tried to escape on foot leaving his passenger behind.

Mr Kennerley said the Vauxhall was taken during a burglary on December 19 last year after thieves stole its keys from an address in Wigan.

He said officers approached the car on December 31 on Chorley Old Road after suspecting its driver was underage.

Conway panicked and reversed 10ft before hitting a stationary Renault and escaping on foot.

On January 11, officers visited Conway’s address on another matter with one of them recognising him as the Vauxhall’s driver and he was arrested.

Richard Dawson, defending, said Conway, who pleaded guilty to two charges of handling stolen goods, possessing cannabis, dangerous driving, driving without due care and attention, driving without insurance and without a license, had been “mixing with the wrong people” who had exploited him.

Mr Dawson added he was now a “changed character” who was working hard in his new job maintaining traffic lights.

Congratulating Conway on his hard work, Judge Timothy Stead, urged him not to smoke cannabis.

He said: “I’ve seen a lot of people aged 30-40 who’ve smoked a lot of cannabis and they’re just not right in the head.”

Judge Stead imposed an 18 month community order with a 25 day rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR).

Conway will also have to observe a 90 day curfew between 8pm and 6am and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.