Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:37 pm
Grant Horton committed an almost identical offence just months earlier
A thief who sneaked onto a building site in a hi-vis jacket stole a contractor's van before ramming police vehicles in a bid to escape.
And as Grant Horton was jailed, a court heard how at the time of the theft, he was on licence for an almost identical offence.
The 27-year-old, of Cashmore Road, Bedworth, was jailed for a total of three years and one month by a judge at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to the theft, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.
He was handed 22 months for the theft, with a further 15-months for the driving offences, and was disqualified for four years and five months.
Prosecutor Glyn Samuel told the court that on August 28 an employee of Leamington-based Bennetts Bricklaying arrived on a site at Flying Fields, off Daventry Road in Southam, at 3.20pm.
After he had left the work's Transit van with the key in, Horton, who was at the site wearing a high-vis jacket to give the impression he was working there, jumped in and drove off.
The driver immediately contacted his employers, and a tracker fitted to the Transit was activated.
That showed showed the vehicle travelling from Southam to the A46 and then heading towards Coventry.
The police were notified and, by chance, a police sergeant in a marked car on the A46 realised a Transit a couple of vehicles ahead of him was the van in question.
He began to follow it and contacted another officer who was in the area in an unmarked car.
The Transit then turned off the A46, and 100 yards down the road Horton pulled into a parking space outside a business premises.
But when Horton saw the sergeant's car stop behind him, he reversed, clipping the police car and knocking off its wing mirror.
The officer in the unmarked vehicle, which had its blue lights flashing, saw what happened as he approached the scene and attempted to block the van in.
“But that didn’t stop the defendant," Mr Samuel said, "because he went partly onto the pavement, ramming the front of the police vehicle, and continued for a short distance, despite the off-side front wheel having suffered damage."
But the sergeant in the marked car was able to overtake the Transit and block it in, and Horton was eventually arrested.
Mr Samuel pointed out that as a result of the collisions the Transit was written off and there was £1,750 damage to the marked police car and £13,600 damage to the unmarked car.
He added that Horton was on licence at the time from a 12-month sentence from November last year when he had been banned from driving.