A serving prisoner is being given the chance of a fresh start after a judge read his letter stating his determination to mend his ways.

Connor Greenwood is in prison for assault and not due for release until June 27, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

He was brought from HMP Wealstun to be dealt with for offences of dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen and driving uninsured and unlicensed on September 1 last year.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Richard Mansell QC, adjourned sentence until July 1. He ordered a probation report and told Greenwood that if it spoke well of him, he would get a suspended sentence.

The court heard that Greenwood, 26, formerly of Rastrick but now homeless, sped away from the police in a VW Golf after midnight along Rochdale Road, Greetland.

He was doing double the 30mph limit and accelerated up to 80mph as he headed towards Halifax.

He swerved to avoid at least two attempts to deflate his tyres and jumped a red light, passing a hospital and going on to Huddersfield Road.

Greenwood then leapt from the moving car and ran down a footpath into woodland.

When he was apprehended he was abusive, smelt of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet.

The court heard he had two young women in the car with him during the 13-minute police pursuit on roads including Burnley Road, Skircoat Green Road and Phoebe Lane.

He denied being the driver, saying: ā€œIā€™m homeless. I was asleep in a bush.ā€

Greenwood failed to provide a sample at the police station. He was a provisional licence holder and uninsured.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving after his fingerprints were found on the car door.

Greenwood had eight previous convictions for 18 offences, including driving matters.

Lydia Pearce said in mitigation that he was doing very well in jail. He was a model prisoner and heavily engaged with the mental health team.

He had worked as a roofer but he had become homeless and had issues with drugs and alcohol.

Miss Pearce said Greenwood had pleaded guilty to the offences at the first opportunity and was now determined to rebuild his life.

He asked the court to give him the chance to serve his sentence in the community following his release from prison.

Judge Mansell said he had intended to send Greenwood to jail but he was impressed by his letter and the fact that he was a model prisoner so he was giving him the chance to start afresh.