A CAR thief had to be rammed off the road twice by police during a dramatic late night car chase near a packed Cowley road.

Morton Morton drove the stolen Audi A4 Estate " dangerously" past a park outside East Oxford Health Centre before he was boxed in by police. Officers had to swarm on the stolen Audi to stop it shortly before midnight on November 28 last year.

Oxford Crown Court heard that the 27-year old of HMP Bullingdon had only been released from prison one week earlier and that he had something of an 'addiction' to cars.

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He was set to stand trial yesterday for dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance but in a last minute change of heart yesterday he admitted all counts.

Outlining the incident to the court prosecutor Julian lynch said that the Audi had previously been reported stolen and Morton was seen in the driver's seat at Cowley Road.

In a frantic bid to get away, the court heard, Morton drove the stolen car up towards the medical centre before police made efforts to ram him.

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Undeterred, Morton then drove the car along Manzil Way Gardens next to a children's play area and back on to Cowley Road.

In footage played to the court of the dramatic chase more police vehicles are seen to surround the vehicle before a second ramming attempt is made.

This time Morton's car is brought to a halt and he is boxed in before he is hauled from the car by officers and arrested.

CCTV footage of the incident also showed dozens of revellers lining the roads nearby and outside the nearby O2 Academy looking on as the drama unfolds.

At the same hearing yesterday Morton was also sentenced for a previous incident for which he was convicted earlier this month.

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That incident of two burglaries and two thefts in June 2017 saw Morton, together with others, steal a BMW and an Audi Q3 from homes in Upton, Oxfordshire.

In mitigation at the sentencing hearing his defence barrister Lucy Tapper said that Morton had 'panicked' when he realised police had spotted him on Cowley Road.

She said: "It was a very foolish decision, he was taking a short journey to get some food, he should not have done it.

"Having seen police he started to panic, having only just been released from custody, he didn't want to go back there."

She added that he had an 'addiction' to vehicles.

Sentencing, Judge Ian Pringle QC said that Morton had an 'enormous record' of interfering with vehicles and driving them. He said that Morton had the distinction of having more criminal convictions - 33 - than he had 'years on this planet.'

Morton was jailed for a total of four years for the driving and burglary offences.

He was also banned from driving for four years.