A DANGEROUS driver accelerated to speeds of 130mph in a stolen car on flat tyres, punctured by a stinger during a police chase.

James Delaney was told it was 'a miracle' no-one was killed after he drove the high performance Audi S5 on the M5 near Worcester, carrying on even after one of the tyres had come off the rim altogether.

The 40-year-old carried on driving even though one, possibly two, of his tyres had been shredded by the device, thrown across a motorway sliproad in a bid to stop him. At one stage Delaney lost control, striking barriers, before he was forced off the motorway by a police officer in a pursuit car. Delaney ran away up an embankment before scaling a barbed wire fence in an attempt to escape, lying to police that he was not the driver.

The father admitted dangerous driving and handling stolen goods when he appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Monday.

The defendant has nine previous convictions for 15 offences including five house burglaries.

The car was estimated by the judge to be worth around £60,00 to £65,000, telling the court that this figure was probably being 'generous' to the defendant.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright drew up a proceeds of crime timetable, telling Delaney he might be able to pay the money back if he won the lottery or inherited some cash.

The car, a 68 registration, could not have been more than three months and one week old when it was stolen during a car key burglary at Lower Broadheath on Tuesday, January 8 last year. The raid happened between 4.30pm and 5pm.

Michael Aspinall, prosecuting, said CCTV at the property showed three people getting out of car wearing their hoods up and entering via the rear patio doors.

The implication is that the burglars were taken to the scene of the raid in a grey Mercedes which travelled from Bridgnorth, through St John's, Worcester, towards Lower Broadheath. The vehicle was recorded on ANPR cameras.

Shortly after 5pm the same day the stolen Audi, driven by Delaney, was picked up on cameras 'in convoy with the Mercedes' on the A4440 in Worcester heading towards junction 7 (Worcester south).

"Both cars were noticed to be driving at speed, undertaking and overtaking other vehicles" said Mr Aspinall.

The convoy joined the M5, heading north and officers set up a stinger across the sliproad of junction 5 (Droitwich) which punctured at least one of the Audi's tyres before Delaney rejoined the motorway, accelerating hard and travelling at well over 70mph while being pursued by police.

The traffic at the time was 'moderate to heavy' and a police officer described the smell of burning rubber in the air from the punctured tyres, one of them coming off the car and striking the nearside barrier.

He added: "One of the officers involved in the pursuit describes driving at speeds of over 130mph to catch up with the Audi. The Audi was being driven in excess of 100mph on two flat tyres.

"One experienced officer said it was sheer luck no-one was seriously injured or killed."

An officer used his car to steer Delaney towards the nearside barrier. Once the car came to a stop the defendant immediately ran up the embankment, leaving the engine running, climbed over a wooden fence with barbed wire on the top.

"When he was arrested he said 'I wasn't the driver, you can check the DNA'" said Mr Aspinall. Timothy Sapwell, defending, said his client had suffered severe depressive episodes and had made suicide attempts. Delaney's brother committed suicide in 2006 and his mother in 2017. Delaney had fallen into drink and drug abuse, including the use of cocaine.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright said: "Frankly it was a miracle that nobody was seriously injured or killed as a result of your driving."

He jailed Delaney for 30 months and banned him from driving for 12 months.

This ban was extended by 15 months so that it will begin when he is released at the halfway point of his prison sentence.

Delaney of Lydney Close, Willenhall must complete an extended driving retest.