A FATHER and son have appeared in the dock together at Bolton Crown Court after a theft spree and an 80mph car chase through Bolton.

The court heard how 26-year-old Paul Dixon went on a stealing spree between March 6 and 9 with other unidentified thieves, which included breaking into sheds in Ellesmere Road and stealing a haul of Polish vodka and cigarettes from a Ford Escort in the same road.

A Ford Mondeo worth £500 was stolen from Maybreck Close and a Vauxhall Corsa was stolen from Wigan Road.

Daniel Calder, prosecuting, told how, at 1.35pm on March 8, police spotted the Mondeo, bearing licence plates taken from a stolen Corsa, in Nixon Road, Daubhill.

But when they tried to stop the vehicle, which was being driven by Dixon, it led to a mile-long pursuit at speeds of up to 80mph through the 30mph limit streets of Bolton.

Children were playing on the pavement in Anfield Road and during the chase Dixon sped over speed bumps, drove through red lights and on the wrong side of the road and forced other road users to get out of his way.

He finally abandoned the car in Freshfield Avenue and was found hiding nearby in an outhouse along with a stolen tax disc, car keys, cigarettes and alcohol.

When police visited his father Gray’s home they also found stolen alcohol and cigarettes as well as the Corsa parked in his yard.

Dixon, a father-of-three, from Freshfield Grove, Bolton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and dangerous driving.

Gray, aged 44, of Hootan Street, Daubhill, admitted handling stolen goods.

Nick Ross, defending Dixon, who has an extensive criminal record, told the court: “He has made a thorough nuisance of himself. He admits it and feels ashamed.”

But he added that he now hopes to refocus on the future and become a good father.

Kimberley Morton, defending Gray, who also has a lengthy criminal record, said he had nothing to do with the theft conspiracy and was caught for the handling offence after smoking one of the stolen Polish cigarettes while waiting for a police van to arrive following his arrest.

Judge Timothy Stead sentenced Dixon to 11 months in jail and banned him from driving for two years.

His father was given a six- month community order and must take part in six sessions of a specified activity.

A suspended sentence he is currently serving for another matter will be extended to 18 months.