A man who burgled homes in Middlewich and Sandbach and then led police on a high speed chase across Manchester has been jailed.
The investigation against Michael Doherty began shortly after 1pm on Monday 16 July, when officers received reports that two men had broken into a house on St Anne’s Road, Middlewich, and then fled the scene in a black Vauxhall Astra.
Within minutes of receiving the call officers flooded the area and began to monitor a number of the key routes across Cheshire.
At 1.25pm officers located the black Astra as it travelled on the M56 in Bowdon.
Officers followed the vehicle in an unmarked police car as it travelled towards Manchester, first on the M56, then Princess Parkway and then onto Whitchurch Road towards Withington.
When on Whitchurch Road the Astra began to speed off, travelled at up to 50mph in a 20mph zone.
However the vehicle then slowed down and appeared to pull over at the side of the road.
At this point officers pulled alongside the Astra and saw 26-year-old Doherty behind the wheel, along with an unknown passenger. On seeing the officers Doherty once again sped off and a full police pursuit was authorised.
During the pursuit Doherty sped through red lights and drove along a dedicated cycle path.
He also drove on the wrong side of a carriageway, forcing other motorists to swerve to avoid a collision.
The pursuit eventually came to an end on Hart Road after officers took decisive action to make contact with the Astra in order to force Doherty to stop and prevent innocent members of the public from being injured.
Doherty, or no fixed address, was arrested at the scene.
The passenger fled the vehicle and officers have been unable to locate him.
Following Doherty’s arrest officers discovered evidence which linked him to a second burglary which occurred at an address on Crewe Road in Sandbach in the early hours of Monday 16 June.
Doherty initially denied any involvement in the incidents. However, after hearing in court the evidence that had been gathered, he pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, dangerous driving, driving whist disqualified and driving without insurance.
Today (27 November), he appeared at Chester Crown Court, where he was sentenced to 39 months in prison.
Doherty was also disqualified from driving for 43 months.
Following the sentencing Detective Constable Scott Marshall-Bowater said: “I welcome the sentence that has been handed to Doherty and I hope that it acts as a warning for other potential offenders.
“Throughout this investigation it has been clear that Doherty has no regard for anyone other than himself.
“He targeted his victims in their own homes – the place they should be able to feel most safe.
“He then put the lives of innocent members of the public at risk as he drove dangerously on a number of roads across Greater Manchester.”
Detective Sergeant David Jarvis added: “Firstly I would like to thank all of the victims in this case for the information they provided – without their support this prosecution would not have been possible.
“I would also like to pay tribute to all of the officers and staff involved in the investigation.
“Doherty had no concern for the impact his crimes would have on his victims and truly believed he was above the law.
“Thankfully he is now behind bars facing a substantial prison sentence.
“I hope that the sentence handed to Doherty provides reassurance to the public and shows that we are taking action against those who cause misery to our local communities.”