A MAN who rammed police vehicles during a pursuit in which he was driving a stolen car has been jailed for 15 months.

Teesside Crown Court heard that Garry Watson, who has 32 convictions for 94 previous offences, had been at a house party in Middlesbrough and was offered the stolen Hyundai in order that he could drive back to Hartlepool.

But police had been alerted to the stolen vehicle which had been taken in a burglary the previous night in Belle Vue Road, Middlesbrough.

The owner had gone to bed, but when he woke up realised he had been burgled and the keys belonging to the vehicle taken.

Sue Jacobs said officers attempted to box in the Hyundai after it was seen travelling along Seaton Carew Road, in Port Clarence, at 10.15am on August 31 last year.

But it “lurched right” onto the other side of the road, accelerating as it did so, smashing the front end of one of the two police vehicles that were following it.

It was then driven 150 yards on the wrong side of the carriageway, before swerving to avoid a collision with a vehicle travelling in the other direction.

Mrs Jacobs said another attempt was made to box in the Hyundai, but this time it rammed the rear of one of the police vehicles.

Officers eventually stopped the car and detained Watson, who admitted dangerous driving, taking without consent and driving while disqualified.

Graham Silvester, for the 24-year-old, of Ormesby Road, Hartlepool, said he had panicked when police began to follow him.

He said: “He has got a long enough record to know the consequences of driving like this.”

Mr Silvester added that he had been in custody since early September following his arrest by police.

Judge Howard Crowson said the defendant had been in no fit state to drive. He told Watson: “Fortunately police officers are well trained, otherwise [your actions] could have had tragic consequences.”

He jailed him for 15 months and also banned him from driving for three years.