An Amazon worker who drove 'insanely' for almost seven miles through the Cotswolds at speeds reaching 115mph in a bid to escape police has been spared jail by a judge.

When a police patrol officer signalled learner driver Madalin Zaharenco, 22, to stop, he panicked and put his foot down because he had only a provisional licence and was not being supervised, Gloucester Crown Court was told on Wednesday.

Zaharenco, a Romanian national, was told by Judge Ian Lawrie KC that his "appalling, crazy, insane and idiotic" driving on March 21 this year - which included exceeding 100mph in busy Cirencester town centre - could easily have killed his passenger and other road users.

Dad of one Zaharenco, of Hylder Close, Swindon, admitted driving dangerously in his Audi A6 car in Cirencester and not having a valid licence.

Swindon Advertiser: Madalin ZaharencoMadalin Zaharenco (Image: Gloucestershire Police)

He was sentenced to a two-year community order, with 200 hours of unpaid work and fifteen rehabilitation activity days, banned from driving for two years and ordered to pay £340 in costs.

Prosecutor Edward Hollingsworth told the court that at midday on March 21, PC Joshua Norris was driving an unmarked police car on the A417 dual carriageway at Daglingworth when he saw Zaharenco's car and suspected it was exceeding the 70mph limit.

The officer kept pace with the Audi for almost two miles and saw that its average speed was 94mph.

"PC Norris then intended to stop the Audi but was unable to do so immediately as it went on accelerating to a speed in excess of 115mph.”

Zaharenco at first followed the office off the A417, but then sped off.

Mr Hollingsworth continued: "A police pursuit ensued with blue lights and sirens on. They were on a single track road with a 60mph limit. The road was wet and it was raining. There were a number of blind corners on the road.

"The chase continued and the driver ignored all posted speed limits.  He drove on the wrong side of the road on blind bends and could have had a head on collision with any oncoming traffic.

"When they reached another 60mph limit he was doing 80mph and this was now on the approach into the town of Cirencester itself."

The prosecutor said the Audi pulled out of a T-junction in excess of 60mph and narrowly avoided a collision with a van, before reaching 100mph in a 40 zone.

He also drove on the wrong side of a keep left bollard.

"Finally, in Hammond Way, he came to a stop. He effectively gave up at that stage.  The pursuit had gone on for 6.8 miles."

A roadside saliva test was positive for cannabis and a cannabis grinder was found in the car.

Swindon Advertiser: Madalin Zaharenco led police on a dangerous chase - including through a red light in CirencesterMadalin Zaharenco led police on a dangerous chase - including through a red light in Cirencester (Image: Gloucestershire Police)

Chris Pembridge, for Zaharenco, said: "He expresses his remorse, his sincere apologies, for what happened and for his actions which were, on any account, a catastrophic lack of judgement."

Zaharenco works at Amazon in Symmetry Park five days a week and his partner has a weekend job so they share childcare and she would be in great difficulties and might have to give up work if he went to jail, added the barrister.

The judge told Mr Pembridge he was not going to pass a prison term - but he was going to make Zaharenco realise what custody would be like by sending him down to the smallest cell beneath the Crown Court for a few hours to reflect on his offending.

"The cell really is very small - it probably breaches the Human Right Act but it was built before that was passed," he said.

The judge told the defendant: "You put the security and safety of your partner and your child at risk - worse than that, by idiotic driving over six miles at extraordinary speeds you could easily have caused a collision and the serious injury or death of your passenger and other road users. You would then have been in prison for a long time.”