A NETHERTON drug addict who drove off without paying for nearly £500 worth of petrol from garages has been jailed for 20 months.

Robert Slim visited five forecourts to fill up the tank of his car which on each occasion was carrying a different false registration number.

Howard Searle, prosecuting, said that on the final occasion Slim was chased by police and during the high speed pursuit he drove the wrong way up a one-way street and on the wrong side of the road before crashing into fencing.

Slim, a former supermarket manager, had 103 previous crimes on his record for offences including the theft of petrol and robbery.

The 36-year-old also had four previous convictions for dangerous driving, Mr Searle told Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Judge Simon Ward told Slim he had stolen a great deal of petrol over a matter of days - "a strikingly high amount".

He said he had been on a "crime spree" as he continually filled the tank on his car with petrol adding that it was clear he had a "truly appalling criminal record".

Slim, he went on, had been given every possible sentence in his previous court appearances to try and keep him on the straight and narrow but it had not deterred him from breaking the law.

Curtis Myrie, for Slim, said his client had struggled for most of his life with his addiction to class A drugs and each time he tried to resolve the habit he relapsed.

He said it was still his intention to address the problem having stolen the petrol to sell so he could buy more drugs.

Slim, of Cole Street, admitted five charges of making off without payment and five of driving while disqualified.

He further admitted dangerous driving and obstructing a police officer and he was also disqualified from driving for three years on his release from custody.