A CAR thief has been jailed for 12 months after reversing into a a police van in a stolen Ford Fiesta, leaving it “wedged” in the vehicle.

Steven Wimbleton, 27, of Shillingten Close, Little Hulton, was spotted by officer in a police van in the Four Lane Ends area of Bolton in a Ford Fiesta at around 11pm on June 17.

The car was being driven in Wigan Road and officers noticed that it appeared to be driving at excessive speed, Bolton Crown Court heard.

Police followed the vehicle before it stopped in Heathfield Drive, and the van pulled up alongside the Fiesta.

A passenger was seen getting out while Wimbleton placed the vehicle into reverse “at speed”, driving into the officer’s van, prosecutor Jack Troup said.

Damage was caused to both vehicles - with the impact leaving the car “wedged” in the officer’s vehicle.

Wimbleton was then arrested and after finding a decoding key, police suspected the car was stolen, later tracing the owner to a property in Horwich.

Wimbleton had admitted to driving whilst disqualified, dangerous driving, driving with no insurance, attempted theft of a motor vehicle and theft of a motor vehicle.

Defending, Carl Hargan said Wimbleton was remorseful and hadn’t offended for two years despite a bad record.

He said: “He said that he has spent a month in custody and he doesn’t want to keep doing this sort of thing. He has two children - they are aged four and nine months. That in my submission gives him some hope for the future.”

The court hear the defendant stole the car to pay off a debt, having lost his job due to the pandemic.

But Judge Graeme Smith said: “This is not your first offence of this nature. You have previous convictions for taking vehicles without consent, for dangerous driving and for driving while disqualified.

“It’s true you have not offended for the last two years, but you also have another period for non-offending broadly between 2016 and 2019 and it is of concern that it seems to be your default whenever there is a problem in your life, you go back to a similar type of offending.”

Wimbleton was also disqualified from driving for 29 months.