TWO Dudley men who were inside a stolen Transit van that was involved in a terrifying high speed chase before crashing through the gates at the Wrens Nest Nature Reserve have been jailed.

The van was bearing false registration plates and was pulling a stolen Mitsubishi car on a flat trailer when it was spotted at a scrapyard in the town by police officers.

The driver of the vehicle then rammed the police car out of the way as Wayne Price uncoupled the trailer to try and block its path, said Mr Andrew Wilkins prosecuting at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

But the officers managed to get round the trailer and went after the van which, during the chase, went through traffic lights on red, was driven on the wrong side of the road and the wrong way round a traffic island.

Mr Wilkins told the court the driver also mounted the pavement during the 60mph pursuit through built-up areas and collided with two other cars.

It finally went through the gates of the Nature Reserve and down a muddy lane before being abandoned and Price and John Burton were both arrested nearby by the officers.

Burton, aged 35 of Broom Road and 31 year-old Price of Hillside Road, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and theft while Burton pleaded guilty a further offence of aggravated vehicle taking.

Judge Michael Challinor jailed Burton, who had been held in custody for 11 months since his arrest, for a total of two years and banned him from driving for two years.

Price was sent to prison for 15 months and also disqualified from driving for two years by the judge who told them both, "What has saved you from significant prison sentences is the fact you were not the driver."

The court was told the man behind the wheel had already been sentenced for his part in what the judge described as a "very bad case."