A learner driver from Upper Tumble raced away at 85mph after fearing a police officer had spotted him.

Dafydd Bowdler, aged 22, shot the wrong way around a roundabout at 65mph in a bid to get away, but he drove so fast the engine of his Volkswagen Passatt blew up and his escape bid came to an end.

Bowdler, of Llechyfedach, admitted dangerous driving, driving without insurance and without a full licence.

Ian Wright, prosecuting, told Swansea crown court how a police officer parked in the Co-op car park at Cross Hands saw the Passatt pull in at 2.10am on June 10.

But the Passatt driver changed his mind and drove instead into the nearby industrial estate.

Mr Wright said the officer thought he was worried about being spotted and decided to follow.

He turned on flashing blue lights and a siren but Bowdler responded by speeding up and trying to get away.

After tearing through the roundabout a cloud of smoke came out of the exhaust of the Passatt which ground to a halt shortly afterwards.

Bowdler told the arresting officer he had panicked because he knew he had only a provisional licence.

Judge Geraint Walters told Bowdler he would now have to pass an extended driving test to get a licence instead of the usual one.

Bowdler was jailed for six months, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work for the community.

He was also made the subject of a 7pm to 6am curfew for eight weeks "to stop him driving around Cross Hands at night" and ordered to complete 10 days of a rehabilitation activity.

Bowdler was also banned from driving for 12 months.