A drug driver was found hiding in a hedge after his car had been rammed off the road by the police as he tried to outrun them.

Cedric Thompson was chased through Barnstaple after police saw him speeding and driving erratically on a roundabout and stopped his car by crashing into it on a country lane at Landkey.

The police driver decided to ram the VW Polo because he feared Thompson would endanger other members of the public who may be driving the other way down the lane.

Thompson was desperate to escape the police because he was heavily under the influence of cannabis and was carrying wraps of the party drug ketamine which he planned to sell.

He was an unaccompanied learner driver with no insurance and there was also evidence of drug dealing on two phones which he had with him in the car.

He jumped out of his car when it was rammed and ran off, but a police dog tracked him to a hedgerow a few metres away and he was arrested.

Thompson, aged 24, of Donn Gardens, Bideford, admitted possession of a class B drug with intent to supply, drug driving, driving without a full licence or insurance, failing to stop, and personal possession of cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis.

He was jailed for 20 months, suspended for two years, ordered to do 140 hours of unpaid community work and banned from driving for two years by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: "You knew the police wanted you to stop but you drove recklessly in an attempt to avoid them. The officer had to ram your vehicle to prevent you causing a danger to others.

"You got out and ran off into the night and had to be tracked down by a police dog. You demonstrated a high level of careless driving."

Mr Gareth Evans, prosecuting, said Thompson was first found with drugs in June last year while on his way to a festival. He had small amounts of cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis in a bum bag.

He was released under investigation and on November 16 was seen driving through Barnstaple at 9.30 pm on his own and without an accompanying driver.

Police followed and tried to stop him after he drove too fact and erratically on a roundabout and they rammed him after he went onto narrow country roads at Landkey. His car was written off in the collision.

When he was arrested he had 10 wraps of ketamine ready for sale and another ten grams in the car. Messages on his phone showed he had been dealing for sums up to £1,000 and going back and forth to London to pick up new supplies.

Miss Rachel Smith, defending, said Thompson first came to North Devon when he was growing up in care in London and was sent to a boarding school in the area.

He was homeless and living in his car at the time of his arrest but has used the seven months since to address his own drug use and is now living a more stable life with his partner and looking for work.