AN ASPIRING Marine who led police on a chase through Tidworth to avoid them finding a bag of cannabis has been spared jail.

Joshua Aguilar was spotted driving a white Ford Fiesta by officers on the A303 on May 6, last year, and requested that he pull over, which he ignored.

The 21-year-old turned off and continued onto the A338 towards Tidworth, despite police trying to prevent him, Winchester Crown Court heard on Friday.

Prosecuting, Andrew Stone said: “The Fiesta was in a 50mph zone taking over a white van on the wrong side of the carriageway.”

He continued: “It was travelling through red lights in Tidworth town centre, travelling 44mph in a 20 zone in Tidworth town centre."

The court was told that the pursuit took place in the middle of the day and Aguilar reached speeds of 140mph in a 60 zone.

“[The Fiesta was] travelling at 88mph in a 60 zone, narrowly missing a pedestrian on the nearside of the road by a matter of a few inches,” Mr Stone said.

“It was appalling driving. He fully accepts that looking back at this.”

During the chase Aguilar threw a grey rucksack from the car, which contained 665grams of herbal cannabis, worth up to £6,350.

He originally told the probation service that some of the cannabis was for him and he would sell the rest, but later changed his story.

In mitigation, Paul Donegan said: “I have confronted him about the various explanations in the course of these proceedings about how he came to be in possession of 665grams of cannabis.

“There became a debt prior to pandemic restrictions, the defendant was working, he was an apprentice electrician, he became furloughed and hence the debt arose. He was at home smoking a bit more and incurring debt, therefore a suggestion of how he might deal with that debt was to go and collect a large amount of drugs.”

Judge Advocate Jane England was told that the drugs would then be given to somebody else.

Mr Donegan said that Aguilar, of Whaddon Chase, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, wishes to join the Marines.

Aguilar previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and possession with intent to supply cannabis.

He was given a 10-month prison sentence suspended for two years and must complete 120 hours unpaid work, along with 15 rehabilitation days. He was also disqualified from driving for two years.