A MAN with drink and drug problems who rammed a police patrol car during a terrifying 17 mile high speed pursuit to Dudley has been locked up for 14 months.

Father-of-two Leroy Scott drove through a number of red traffic lights before the chase - from Bridgnorth to Dudley - ended when one of the tyres on his stolen van "disintegrated".

Police officers went after the 40-year-old who had two passengers in the Peugeot when they spotted him swigging from a bottle while he was behind the wheel.

Scott accelerated away and he hit 75mph as he desperately tried to shake off the pursuing police cars while swerving to the wrong side of the road and driving on the wrong side of a dual carriageway.

He also went the wrong way around a traffic island and when one of the chasing patrol cars tried to box him in he rammed the vehicle pushing it onto a grass verge.

"This was an utterly shocking piece of driving" Judge Barry Berlin told Scott, who had 52 previous convictions on his criminal record.

They included an earlier case of dangerous driving, two offences of aggravated vehicle taking, five of taking a motor vehicle without consent, two of driving while disqualified and another of driving with excess alcohol.

The judge told him it was clear his driving during the chase put at risk members of the public, police officers and his passengers while his own life was endangered.

"Alcohol had been consumed and you showed no regard at all for other road users," he added at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Scott, of Severn Road, Colley Gate, admitted driving dangerously and he was further disqualified from driving for five years and seven months.

Daniel White, defending, said he accepted it was a sustained piece of bad driving and that he had ignored police requests to pull over to the side of the road.

"He is remorseful and he has apologised for his behaviour," said Mr White. "He is extremely ashamed of his actions."

Mr White told the court Scott had managed to keep out of trouble with police for a number of years and he had been working as a warehouseman.

But he then got involved with the "wrong crowd" and he once again started taking drugs and drinking heavily.