A 'DANGEROUS' driver who sped past motorists, nearly slamming head-on into a truck, during a police chase, has been spared jail.

Banned driver Daniel Smith, of Pegasus Road, Oxford, embarked on the high-speed chase 'in panic' after he received a call from his partner telling him he was dumped.

The 23-year-old had already admitted dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, and driving while disqualified and with no insurance.

He was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.

Outlining the case prosecutor Kellie Enever said Smith was first spotted by an Automatic Number Plate Recognition camera at Oxford Road, Kidlington at about 9.40am on January 12.

Police were alerted after suspicions were raised that the driver of the silver Volkswagen Golf was already disqualified from driving.

When a nearby patrol car got close to him at Banbury Road and switched on its blue lights to signal the driver to stop, instead he sped off.

In CCTV footage played to the court Smith was seen to hurtle along Banbury Road in wet conditions before taking a left turn along Langford Lane.

It was here that Smith's car is seen to narrowly avoid slamming into a passing HGV coming from the opposite direction.

Undeterred by the near-miss, the police chase continues with speeds of more than 80 mph and cars having to swerve out of the way as he crosses into the opposite lane.

Eventually, Smith hits a grass bank and the car loses control before officers surround him and he is arrested.

The court heard that he was disqualified from driving in November last year for six months after receiving 12 or more penalty points.

In mitigation at yesterday's hearing defence barrister Rhianna Fricker called the incident 'a very stupid, impulsive decision.'

She said he began the car chase after he had received a phone call from his then-partner telling him their relationship of some three years was over.

Smith - a care home manager - then got in the car despite being banned in order to see her, she said, before police spotted him.

Sentencing, Judge Nigel Daly said: "You are a man who does a great deal of good in the community but quite frankly you should not be driving.

"You were disqualified from driving when you did this. I know that what you say is that you realise you were disqualified and when the police came up behind you you panicked but that was sheer idiocy.

"You [could] have ploughed straight into the front of that lorry and you would probably be dead."

Smith was handed a community order for 18 months to include 200 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay court costs of £300 and a victim surcharge and he was disqualified from driving for two years.