TWO teenage car thieves who between them rammed a police car, stole a £30,000 Mercedes and drove at three times the speed limit have been locked up.

Joseph Holden and Thomas Noble were sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Monday for two separate events on top of their already-lengthy criminal records.

Matthew Walsh, prosecuting, said the offending spree began on September 12 when Holden and a third teen, Gary Woodwards, took the keys to a courtesy car on loan to Holden’s mother.

While Denise Holden slept, the pair and another unidentified passenger drove the Ford Ka to Didcot, where they were followed down a cul-de-sac by police.

Realising they had nowhere to turn, 17-year-old driver Holden performed a U-turn and rammed his way past the officers’ car.

Mr Walsh said: “That then led to a police pursuit to try and stop the vehicle, a pursuit that went through a series of rural villages driving incredibly dangerously, culminating in the Kennington area.”

As the Ka sped through Long Wittenham, Clifton Hampden and on to the Oxford Ring Road it jumped red lights, went the wrong way around a roundabout and went past the 30mph Nuneham Courtenay speed camera at 90mph.

As police gave chase the occupants of the car threw items out of the window at their pursuers.

Having topped 100mph on the approach to Heyford Hill Roundabout, the car, which was later written off, eventually clipped a kerb in Kennington and came to a halt.

Mr Walsh said of Holden: “For reasons best known to him he was found with the tax disc between his buttocks.”

On November 16, while he was still on bail for the previous offence, Holden was joined by Noble in taking a £32,000 Mercedes-Benz in Kidlington.

Mr Walsh said the car was driven by Noble with other youngsters as passengers. It was filled up with £45 of fuel in Stadhampton before the group drove off without paying. The car was recovered after a brief chase around Headington Quarry the next day.

Holden, of Hundreds Acres Close, Headington, admitted two counts of aggravated vehicle taking. The Oxford Mail was allowed to name him after successfully appealing to lift reporting restrictions.

Noble, of Old Road, Headington, has more than 25 previous convictions and admitted aggravated vehicle taking, taking a vehicle without consent, driving without insurance and making off without payment.

Holden was given an 18-month detention and training order and Noble was given 15 months in a young offender institution. Both were banned from driving for three years.

Woodwards will be sentenced next month.