A “MANIAC” driver repeatedly rammed police cars with a stolen van, injuring five officers trying to stop him.

Irfan Mohammed caused £60,000 of damage to three police cars with the three and half-tonne Mercedes Luton van. Officers suffered injuries including whiplash, a suspected broken hand and burns caused by an airbag. The chase in Droitwich only ended when an officer in a marked car rammed Mohammed off the road. He tried to escape on foot before he was bitten by a police dog, later giving a no comment interview. Judge Robert Juckes QC, speaking at Worcester Crown Court yesterday, said it was one of the worst examples of dangerous driving he had ever seen. “It’s about as bad as it gets," he said.

The 30-year-old of Coleshill Road, Birmingham, stole the van from the Holiday Inn near the NEC in Birmingham where the owner had parked it on May 16 this year. The van was recorded on an ANPR camera in Wythall two days later. Mohammed was followed by a West Mercia dog handler as he left the M5 at junction 5 (Droitwich), heading onto the the A442 towards the Westlands island. Another officer twice punched the window of the driver's door, trying to break it and stop Mohammed. He drove away over a grassed central reservation and onto the opposite carriageway before he stopped in the road and reversed into a pursuing car.

Watch: See dashcam footage of 'maniac' driver ramming police cars

The chase continued towards Droitwich town centre, across another traffic island into Salwarpe Road where he again reversed into a police car, causing the bonnet to crumple. But despite the damage to his car the officer continued the pursuit and forced him off the road.

Jason Airs, prosecuting, said: "This heavy impact caused the van to go on the embankment and into some hedges."

Mohammed admitted dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, possession of cannabis and driving without insurance following the chase on May 18 this year. Praising the skill and courage of the officers, Judge Juckes said: “They were having to make an extraordinarily difficult decision as to how best to deal with a person who was behaving effectively – it’s not an exaggeration to say – like a maniac in a car. You put lives seriously at risk by what you did.”

The judge jailed Mohammed for 22 months, the maximum under the sentencing guidelines, telling him he was lucky not to have been charged with much more serious offences. Mohammed was banned from driving for five years (extended by 11 months so the ban will begin when he is released from prison at the halfway point of his sentence). Mohammed must also complete an extended driving retest.