A MOTORIST who led police on a chase at speeds of up to 80mph in his mum’s car was told he had dodged jail “by a whisker”.

Jamie Cooper had permission from his mother to drive her Ford Fiesta with both of them mistakenly believing he was insured.

The 20-year-old was parked in Old Road, Clacton, with another man in the passenger seat when a passing traffic police officer ran a check and found only a woman was covered to drive it.

He attempted to pull Cooper over but on advice from his passenger he ignored the officer and continued to drive.

Cooper drove along Rush Green Road, Tyler Avenue, Jaywick Lane and St John’s Road, hitting speeds of up to 80mph.

The chase only came to a stop when he hit a plastic bollard after negotiating a corner too quickly and span out. He ran away but was quickly arrested.

Cooper, of Rover Avenue, Jaywick, was breathalysed and gave an illegal reading, but the level of alcohol had returned to an acceptable level by the time he got to the station.

He immediately recognised what he had done was wrong, telling officers he had panicked.

Cooper admitted dangerous driving and driving without insurance at Colchester Magistrates’ Court. He was committed to Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing.

Cooper has sold his own car - a Skoda Fabia - since the offence in January, in anticipation of a driving ban.

Judge Jonathan Seeley decided to hand him a prison sentence of four months but suspended it for two years.

The judge said: “A life could have been lost - your life, the life of a passenger or somebody who was coming the other way.”

Cooper will be subject to a curfew for the next four months meaning he must be at home between 7pm and 7am and was banned from driving for a year.