A MOTORIST in a stolen vehicle drove at nearly 140mph as he fled from the police on the M6 between Carlisle and Penrith, continuing even after a stinger device ripped off his car’s front tyres.

Bolton man Aidan Naylor’s high-speed journey ended only after officers  who were concerned about the risk he posed rammed the car.

The terrifying eight-minute pursuit was the fourth time that the 28-year-old had been prosecuted for dangerous driving, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

He admitted that offence, as well as disqualified and uninsured driving, failing to stop when required and possessing the class B drug cannabis. Prosecutor Ben Stanley outlined the facts.

Police became aware of a stolen VW Golf being driven southwards on the M6 near Carlisle late on March 28 and into the early hours of the following morning.

The pursuit began three minutes before midnight, when an officer attempted to stop the Golf near to Carlisle’s Golden Fleece roundabout but Naylor responded by accelerating away, reaching just under 100mph.

His speed rose to 136mph before he drove over a police stinger device. The Golf braked harshly and veered towards the hard shoulder and then lane one, driving at 70mph as the car approached Junction 40.

Approaching the next junction, the pursuing officers believed the car was about to leave the motorway and so a patrol car was positioned to block this, prompting the defendant to use his car to ram it.

He was trying to force the officer’s car off the motorway.

The pursuit ended at 12.05am when another patrol car, the officer fearing Naylor would exit the motorway and drive into Penrith, performed a tactical manoeuvre, effectively forcing the Golf into the central reservation, making it turn 180 degrees, at which point it was finally stopped.

When searched, Naylor was found to be carrying three cannabis wraps. His criminal record was littered with serious driving crimes. They included three previous dangerous driving offences since 2019, as well as a drug driving.

Sophie Johnstone, defending, said the defendant was under no illusion about how irresponsible and dangerous his driving was. “In his words, he was an absolute idiot,” said the barrister.

Naylor had demonstrated insight into his behaviour and regretted driving the car that day. A sufferer of anxiety and depression, he was awaiting diagnosis of potential mental health conditions.

The loss of his father had led to a downward spiral for Naylor, who had previously worked as a shop fitter. Miss Johnstone added: “He’s clearly troubled from his upbringing.”

Judge Michael Fanning said the defendant’s latest crimes, coming just a month after he was sentenced for previous offending, involved Naylor driving a considerable distance at very high speed.

He continued even after the car’s tyres were removed by the stinger because police officers saw this as the only way to stop his dangerous journey.

Judge Fanning said: “If you carry on driving in the way you are driving, the risks to you are very significant; you are no use to friends, family and [your] children if you are dead and that is where this could have ended up.

“My primary concern is the protection of the public; the public need to be kept out of your way and the only way I can do that is to impose an immediate custodial sentence.

"It was a complete disregard for the safety of others; it was a prolonged, persistent and deliberate course of driving.

"You were trying to evade the police and only brought to a stop when they in effect rammed you off the road."

The judge told Naylor, of Greenhead Walk, Bolton, that there was no immediate prospect that he could be rehabilitated.

He jailed the defendant for 14 months and imposed an 84-month ban, to be extended by seven months to reflect the time he will spend behind bars. He must pass an extended driving best before driving independently.