A homeless man crashed a stolen car twice and sprayed an off duty paramedic, nurse and police officer in the face on a crime rampage.

The string of offences began at around 7pm on July 28, when Francis Coyle stole a blue VW Golf from outside a barber shop in Queen's Road, Buckhurst Hill while its owner was inside.

He crashed the vehicle into a lorry going southbound on the M11 between junctions four and five, before spraying concerned people attempting to help with a noxious substance.

The three off-duty public servants were not seriously hurt and the lorry driver was uninjured.

The 31 year-old Coyle then stole a white Vauxhall Astra from a member of the public.

Three days later the original stolen car was crashed into a taxi on the A406, with Coyle one of three suspects spotte fleeing the scene.

He would be arrested on August 31 in East London.

Dc Amy Kavanagh from Loughton CID, said: “Coyle’s actions were chaotic and dangerous and it is lucky that the consequences for those who he put in danger were not graver.

“This was a frightening and confusing ordeal for a number of people and it is satisfying to know that today he has been jailed.

“Coyle pleaded guilty but not before he attempted to evade justice.”

Coyle, of no fixed abode, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrate’s Court on September 2, 2017 where he was remanded in custody to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on November 3, 2017.

He pleaded guilty to all charges, which included two counts of ABH with intent, common assault, theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified, and driving without insurance at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, February 9.

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years imprisonment for his role in the above offences, as well as a further two-and-a-half years for a separate case on behalf of the Metropolitan Police, which took place in Snaresbrook.

These sentences are to run consecutively.