TWO men who hijacked a car have been both jailed for three years.

The 19-year-olds who were high on drugs flagged down a motorist late at night on Corporation Road, Darlington, and at first they tried to sell him a stolen bike

When he refused, James Roberts jumped into the passenger seat of the Vauxhall Astra and grabbed the ignition keys, saying: “Give me the money or I’ll break your jaw.”

The second man, Conner Ryan, threatened him with a bottle and he punched the driver a number of times.

Prosecutor Victoria Lamballe told Teesside Crown Court that the pair jumped into the car and they drove off in it.

A few hours later. when police were searching the Barnard Castle area they spotted the car near Westwick with a front tyre completely shredded.

Roberts and Ryan ran off into a field where Ryan fell and he was arrested.

Roberts was found later hiding in a wardrobe at an address in Darlington.

Rod Hunt, defending Ryan, said that he had passed a number of courses while on remand in prison to tackle his drug and alcohol problems, and he felt that he could stay off drugs on his release.

Ben Pegman, defending Roberts, said that he had also had drug problems which he was determined to overcome.

The judge Recorder Gurdial Singh said that it was a nasty robbery.

Roberts, of Neasham Road, Darlington, and Ryan, of Hammond Drive, Darlington, who appeared over a videolink from Durham Prison, were both sent to a young offender’s institution for three years after they pleaded guilty to the May 21 robbery.

Ryan also admitted the earlier theft of keys to a Vauxhall Vectra on April 17 and allowing himself to be carried in the car after it was taken without consent.