Two men have been sent to prison after they drove into oncoming traffic on the M6 motorway following an attack on a vulnerable young man and stealing his car.

Joshua Jiggins, 26, and Hubert Koulak, 20, punched and kicked Liam Ashman, who has Asperger's Syndrome, in the head which left him needing hospital treatment for a "very badly" swollen eye and nose.

The pair then stole a red Ford Fiesta after the victim dropped them off at a car park in Whitchurch on August 29 last year after spending the day at the beach in Rhyl, north Wales.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that later that evening Jiggins and Koulak were involved in a police chase on the M6 where a stinger was used to stop the stolen car as it travelled on the wrong side of the road.

Jiggins was sentenced to 46 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to robbery and dangerous driving, while Koulak, who had no previous convictions, received a custodial sentence of 30 months for robbery.

The court was told that Jiggins had 16 previous convictions for harassment, assault, theft and driving matters. He was disqualified from driving at the time of the robbery and also breached a six-week suspended sentence for battery.

Sentencing, Mr Recorder Thomas Moran told the pair: "Mr Jiggins is slightly more culpable being older and having previous convictions. He started it in the sense that he told the victim that he wasn't going anywhere.

"This is clearly a joint attack and Mr Koulak started the violence between the two of you and joined in without any hesitation and were responsible for serious violence."

In a victim impact statement read out in court by the prosecution, Mr Ashman said he has had sleepless nights about the incident.

"I am constantly looking out of the window to check the people who did this to me are not outside. I do feel if these persons are outside my house that they will cause severe harm."

Ms White, acting on behalf of Jiggins, said the father of two was remorseful about the incident.

"It is clear the root cause was the use of alcohol and drugs and he is motivated to do something about that.

"While on remand, he was in isolation in a cell for 23 hours because of the Covid pandemic. He spent four months and 11 days on remand for these matters. It has not been an easy time for him with his mental health issues and further physical issues."

The defence barrister added: "Fortunately this incident was over relatively quickly and it was a short piece of driving.

"The length of sentence is crushing to the defendant bearing in mind the aspiration he has and clearly understands that he needs to turn his life around and not re-offend."

Mr Edwards, defence barrister for Koulak, told the court that the 20-year-old's six weeks in custody was "truly a wake-up call"

"He is genuinely remorseful and accepts that what went on cannot be excused and something has any intention of embarking on again."

Mr Edwards added: "He had consumed alcohol and using cannabis at that time, and his alcohol use was getting somewhat out of control.

"But he wanted to do something positive after being released from custody. He’s been able to secure training with friend in plastering and that is his plan for the future."

The Judge disqualified Jiggins from driving for four years and 11 months and he must also take an extended re-test before getting a driver's licence.