A CAR thief who rammed two police cars during a 100mph motorway chase has been given a chance to tackle his drug addiction.

Jonathan Walsh took a friend’s car from his home in Bude and drove it 175 miles to Swindon where he and two accomplices carried out a brazen shoplifting raid on a sports shop.

He then headed back to Cornwall at speed of more than 100 mph before police succeeded in box in the stolen Audi Q7 on the southbound M5 in East Devon and smashed the windows to try to get him out.

Walsh responded by reversing into a armed response vehicle so violently that he caused £8,200 damage, pushing it back far enough for him to escape the road block be hitting a second police car, ripping off a door and narrowly missing and officer.

He drove away down the hard shoulder at more than 100 mph before coming off the motorway at Exeter and crashing into two completely innocent motorists, writing off another car and the Audi.

He ran off but was chased down by police. He had only been out of prison for eight days, was banned from driving, and refused a breath test and drug swipe. He has 22 previous convictions for taking cars, and six for driving while disqualified.

Walsh, aged 37, of Knot Court, Stratton, near Bude, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, theft, handling stolen goods, bilking, and driving while disqualified and uninsured

He was jailed for two years, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 12 months of drug rehabilitation, 30 days of rehabilitation activities, and undertake a six months mental health treatment requirement.

Judge Johnson also banned him from driving for five years with an extended re-test and said: “I consider that is necessary to protect the public, having regard to your driving record and the events of this case.”

Miss Laura D’Allessandro, prosecuting, said Walsh was visiting a friend’s house on the night of December 27 to 28 last year and stole his car keys which he used to take his Audi Q7.

The owner only realised what had happened when he got up the next day, by which time Walsh and two friends were on their way to Swindon, having filled up with £134 fuel at Bishops Nympton and left without paying.

They all went into a JD Sports shop and brazenly picked up £1,300 worth of goods before being chased out by staff, dropping £510 worth on their way.

Police monitored the Audi as Walsh drove it for 114 miles on the M4 and M5 at high speed before being halted by a rolling roadblock near Plymtree.

Officers smashed the windows but the car reversed at speed, pushing a police Volvo far enough to enable him to manoeuvre free, while clipping a police Audi. The total damage caused was more than £11,000.

Police resumed the chase but Walsh used the hard shoulder to get away at 100 mph before crashing in Exeter, writing off the car he hit and injuring the three occupants.

The owner of the stolen Audi wrote a victim statement saying it had also been written off and he was now unable to attend regular medical appointments.

Mr Lee Bremridge, defending, said Walsh has reached a stage in his life where he is ready to tackle the long standing drug addiction which has led to all his offending.

He will return to live with his mother and a package of drug and mental health treatment is in place to give him a chance to break a cycle of offending which has seen him spend much of his adult life in prison.