A DANGEROUS driver was caught red-handed with £2,000 worth of stolen goods after leading police on a high-speed chase.

Marc Robert Moreland drove at twice the 30mph speed limit in a bid to escape undercover police officers, after initially believing they were thugs out to hurt him.

The 39-year-old, of Princess Grove, Farnworth, was jailed for 27 months and banned from driving for three years in November last year after admitting dangerous driving and handling stolen goods.

He challenged his sentence at London's Criminal Appeal Court, but top judges said the term was “not excessive” for his crimes.

The court heard Moreland attracted the attention of police officers in two unmarked cars at about 7.30pm on July 14 last year, and they boxed him into a layby.

One of the officers smashed a window of his Volvo with a baton and, believing they were thugs who intended to harm him, Moreland rammed both police cars until he was able to drive off.

Pursuing him, the officers put on their warning lights and sirens, but Moreland continued to drive away at speed — travelling at 60mph in the built-up residential area.

The chase took police along Cleggs Lane, MacDonald Avenue, Harrowby Street and Mossfield Road, in Little Hulton and Farnworth, before officers finally managed to cut him off at a petrol station.

Officers found a haul of £2,000 worth of goods, which had been stolen from a house in Mill Street, Boothstown, earlier that day.

Moreland's lawyers argued his jail term was excessive, given his initial belief he was under attack and the fact he was not involved in a burglary, but was merely a “handler”.

But, dismissing his appeal, Sir Neil Butterfield said he continued to drive dangerously away from the officers after realising they were police and there was a risk of grave injury or death to members of the public.

The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Treacy and Mrs Justice Sharp, added: “He must have been very close indeed, both in point of time and geographically, to those who carried out the burglary, as the police chase was within an hour or so of the burglary being committed.”