A teenager led police on a 100mph chase in a stolen Range Rover through Bolton and Bury after he was spotted on a “quiet country lane".

Terry Nelson, 18, was one of a group of several young men who a passing driver saw rummaging through the boot of a Range Rover on Green Lane, Kearsley, on January 27 this year.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard that several of the men appeared to have been wearing balaclavas.

Prosecutor Aubrey Sampson said: “She described the people she saw as being in their early teens.”

He added: “She became suspicious because it was a quiet country lane.”

The men were in fact somewhat older than their early teens but police were called and among several discarded items they found at the scene was a bank card.

Officers used the bank card to trace the Range Rover Evoque, valued at around £12,000, that the men had been sorting through to its rightful owner in Radcliffe.

Mr Sampson said: “She believed that the car was still there, she asked her husband to have a look at it and that was the first time that she realised the car had been stolen."

Police then tracked and gave chase to the stolen car that same night.

Bury Times: The case was heard at Minshull Street Crown CourtThe case was heard at Minshull Street Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

Nelson, of Beech Avenue, Little Lever, was driving the other men in the car when he reached speeds of up to 100mph in a 40mph zone in a bid to escape the pursuing officers.

Mr Sampson told the court how Nelson drove on the wrong side of a dual carriageway and narrowly avoided crashes with oncoming traffic.

But after a chase of around 20 minutes police managed to stop the speeding car using stingers on Coniston Road.

Nelson was arrested at the scene and pleaded guilty to theft of a motor vehicle and dangerous driving when brought before the magistrates court.

Footage shared by police on social media after the arrests showed parts of the chase between Bury and Bolton. 

Joshua Bowker, defending, said that Nelson, who has no previous convictions, was entitled to credit for having confessed to his crimes.

He said that the 18-year-old had committed the theft in an attempt to pay off around £3,000 worth of drugs debts he had built up through cannabis and ketamine use.

Mr Bowker said: “He is a young man whose drug use had increased significantly in recent years.”

He added: “He has put himself in a perilous position.

“He realises that if someone had stepped in front of him or if he had lost control, the indictment would look very different to this defendant.”

Judge Mark Savill accepted that Nelson was an “immature” young man but said that he demonstrated the dangers of cannabis use.

He said: “So people who say that cannabis is harmless, that it doesn’t really matter are wrong.”

Addressing the defendant directly, he added: “You, like so many before you, foolishly took the view that it's only cannabis, it's only a bit of ketamine, it doesn’t really matter.

“Well, it does.”

But Judge Savill noted that no one had been hurt during the chase and that Nelson still had the chance to avoid further crimes in the future.

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He said: “Had you injured someone, had you caused damage to property, you would be going to custody.”

Judge Savill sentenced Nelson to nine months in prison, suspended for 12 months and hit him with a curfew confining him to his home between 9pm and 6.30am for three months.

He also ordered him to do 150 hours of unpaid work, 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement programme.

He also banned Nelson from the roads for 12 months.