A 23-year-old man who led police on a dangerous 50km rampage across North Canterbury and Christchurch has been jailed for three years.

Kyle James Clarke, a 23-year-old from Geraldine, South Canterbury, was sentenced today at Christchurch District Court on a raft of charges, including reckless driving on the Northern Motorway, failing to stop for police, driving while forbidden, a burglary at Amberley, being found without reasonable excuse in an enclosed yard, and taking a Nissan Safari valued at $5000 from Waikuku.

The pursuit began in North Canterbury on September 15 at around 8.30am and finished almost two hours later in the suburb of Woolston.

Eyewitnesses said Clarke drove a green 4WD drove on the wrong side of a busy Main North Rd near Woodend School before sideswiping a mother's vehicle who was on the school run.

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He went through roadblocks, roadworks, a golf course, private houses, and a riverbank before he was caught.