A MAN caught driving an £18,000 Mercedes stolen in a house burglary was jailed for two years after the police helicopter tracked the car across Bradford.
Black balaclavas, gloves and a chisel were found in the vehicle which was bearing false number plates stuck on with double-sided tape.
Omar Powell, 21, of The Bank, Idle, Bradford, was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court on a video link to HMP Doncaster where he had been detained since his arrest.
He pleaded guilty to dishonestly handling the white Mercedes-Benz C-Class on February 26, driving it while disqualified and having no insurance.
Prosecutor Maryam Ahmad said the car was stolen when a family home on West Wood Close, Apperley Bridge, was broken into early the previous day.
Drawers had been opened in the kitchen and an iPad, £20 in cash and the vehicle keys taken.
Miss Ahmad said the missing car contained personal property and a child’s car seat. Part of a pram had been thrown out into the garden by the thieves.
Four suspects in face coverings were caught on CCTV cameras approaching neighbouring houses and cars but none could be identified.
At 2.20pm on February 26, staff working at a business premises in Victoria Road, Eccleshill, Bradford, saw a Mercedes rolling down a hill and being pushed into nearby Stewart Close.
The two males with the car were behaving suspiciously and one of the eye-witnesses photographed them sitting on a wall while another took the car number and alerted the police.
A blue Mitsubishi turned up bringing a can of fuel and the Mercedes was driven away, the court was told.
It was tracked by the police helicopter to Santa Monica Crescent in Idle when two males abandoned it and escaped along a footpath. Powell was apprehended and the key to the car, which was thrown away nearby, was found.
He made no comment to the police and his DNA was not found on the balaclavas in the Mercedes.
Miss Ahmad said Powell had two previous convictions for six offences, including house burglary and dangerous driving. He had served ten months in a young offender institution in 2018.
His barrister, Abigail Langford, said he was only 20 at the time and finding custody very difficult. He had been remanded since June with no social visits because of the Covid-19 restrictions.
He made a foolish decision to drive the stolen car and had shown remorse in his probation report.
Powell was missing his baby son and hoped to train as a barber to make a fresh start.
Judge Jonathan Rose said he had been caught in possession of a prestige, high value car 33 hours after it was stolen in a domestic burglary, showing a close connection with those who broke into the house.
“You are on a downward spiral towards longer and longer sentences that are necessary to protect the public from you,” Judge Rose told him.
Powell was banned from driving for two years.
A MAN was jailed for three years for the manslaughter of Paul McTasney.
Sean Holt, 31, of Vivien Road, Lower Grange, Bradford, was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court after admitting the offence.
Mr McTasney, 38, died in hospital hours after suffering a serious head injury in the incident in Vivien Road in the early hours of May 9.
The court heard that Holt attacked Mr McTasney after an argument.
Judge Richard Mansell QC said he accepted that Holt had been trying to teach his victim “a lesson” and that the sentence reflected his culpability in the incident.
He had stayed at the scene and put Mr McTasney, also of Vivien Road, in the recovery position.
After the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Fiona Gaffney (Protective Services Crime), the Senior Investigating Officer in the case, said: “This was a tragic case for eve-ryone involved and our sympathies remain with the family of Paul McTasney at this time.
“Paul died after a simple falling out that led to violence, and Holt now has some time in prison to reflect on the consequences of his actions.
“I hope this serves as a reminder to everyone of what can happen when violence is used to settle disputes and would urge people to walk away from tense situations.”
A DRUG dealer who crashed his car after leading the police on a 110mph pursuit was jailed for three years and ten months.
Niro James sped off in a VW Passat after he was stopped on the westbound M621 with a stash of Class A drugs in the car, Bradford Crown Court heard.
The police helicopter joined in the search for him after patrol vehicles chased him for four miles at speeds of up to 110mph along Beeston Ring Road, Whitehall Road, the A58 at Birkenshaw, Lower Wyke and Lightcliffe.
James then crashed his car and was seen from the air to make off in another vehicle, only to return to the accident scene to collect items from the wreckage.
He fled on foot but was spotted from the helicopter hiding in bushes on Old Cottage Close in Hipperholme.
Drugs were found discarded nearby and a search of James’ home uncovered another cache of drugs, along with cash, scales and phones with evidence of dealing on them.
The court heard that the total value of the drugs seized was £7,171.
James, 27, of Dispensary Walk, Halifax, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to sup-ply MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, cocaine, Ketamine and cannabis.
He also admitted driving dangerously on roads between the M621 and Hipperholme on August 26 last year, driving while disqualified and without insurance.
The court heard that he initially pulled over for the police but then accelerated away, do-ing 100mph in a 30 zone and running multiple red lights.
After four miles the pursuing police officers lost sight of the Passat and the police heli-copter took over the chase.
James had five previous convictions for ten offences, including supplying cannabis.
He was banned from driving just three months earlier for driving over the prescribed limit.
James’ barrister, Andrew Espley, said the dangerous driving was at 1.30am when fewer vehicles would be around and there was less risk to other road users.
No one was injured when James crashed the car and he had admitted the offences at the magistrates’ court.
Mr Espley said James had worked in stores and as a canvasser.
He was very supportive to his family, including his grandmother who was seriously ill.
Judge Jonathan Rose said James was capable of so much more than sitting in a prison cell.
“You would have been better placed working hard and looking after family members,” he said.
James had put the lives of the pursuing police officers in jeopardy and was himself lucky to escape serious injury.
He was banned from driving for four years and five months.
Judge Rose made a deprivation order on “what’s left of the car” and ordered the forfeiture of the drugs and the cash seized from James.
A COCAINE addict who headbutted a woman in the face and rained blows on her when she told him to leave her home because he was pestering her friends to order more drugs for him was jailed for 25 months.
Kevin Hopkins grabbed his victim, pinned her against the sofa and punched her repeatedly in the head and body, fracturing her nose and causing bruising and swelling to her left eye and cheek.
Bradford Crown Court heard that Hopkins, who has a history of drug and alcohol misuse and violent offending, turned up at the woman’s home at 10pm on February 8 when she was having a social gathering.
Prosecutor Kristian Cavanagh said she did not particularly want Hopkins at her address in Bradford but allowed him to join the party.
Trouble arose when he used an unsuspecting woman’s phone to try to order drugs and then attempted to involve another guest in the purchase of drugs.
His hostess told him to leave, saying: “How dare you come here to do that? I want you out.”
It was then that Hopkins, who had taken cocaine and downed large amounts of alcohol, carried out the sustained and repeated attack.
The woman was treated in hospital and returned to the accident and emergency department later where a CT scan detected her broken nose.
Hopkins, 36, who was staying at Beacon House, North Avenue, Manningham, Bradford, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He was sentenced on a video link to HMP Leeds after being recalled to prison.
His previous convictions included a string of battery offences, harassment, theft and possession of an offensive weapon.
Hopkins’ solicitor advocate, John Bottomley, said he was deeply remorseful and knew he had caused both physical and psychological harm.
He had been diagnosed with ADHD and complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
Hopkins had progressed from taking “soft drugs” to hard drugs and they, and his misuse of alcohol, were the catalysts for his offending.
Mr Bottomley said Hopkins was determined to address his problems and was seeking help in prison.
During his seven months behind bars, a psychologist had reported that he needed urgent treatment for his mental health issues.
Judge Jonathan Rose pointed out that, despite his assertions that he was seeking help Hopkins had been drinking illegal liquor, known as hooch, during his time on remand in prison.
Over the years, he had been given many opportunities by the courts to get treatment for his drug and alcohol misuse.
Hopkins had tried to blame his victim for what happened that night.
“You brought violence into that house, Hopkins, no one is to blame for it but you,” Judge Rose told him.
It was a “repeated and determined assault” after the woman had offered him the hand of kindness.
Judge Rose made a restraining order without limit of time preventing Hopkins from contacting his victim by any means or going near her home.
A TEENAGE burglar who crashed a stolen Jaguar E-Pace into a wall causing more than £6,000 damage to the vehicle was locked up for 32 months.
Kieran Neal, who committed a string of other offences including attempted housebreaking and dangerous driving, was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court on a video link to HMP Doncaster where he was remanded for five months.
Neal, 18, of Emm Lane, Heaton, Bradford, was just 17 during most of his spate of offending, between August last year and March this year.
By then he had already notched up a record as a youth for handling stolen goods, theft, burglary with intent to steal, threatening behaviour, robbery, assaulting police officers and taking without consent.
Prosecutor Charlotte Rimmer said the latest set of offences began on August 12 last year when Neal and an accomplice burgled a family home in Bolton, Lancashire, and stole the high value Jaguar.
Neale crashed the car into a wall causing £6,600 of damage to the vehicle.
He was arrested and released under investigation.
He was then spotted by householders on February 2 trying the doors of homes on Hartlington Court and Netherhall Road in Baildon at dead of night and interfering with parked vehicles.
Neal was caught hiding nearby, charged and released on unconditional bail.
On March 19, he was seen in Halifax at the wheel of a stolen Ford Mondeo.
He was pursued by the police at high speeds along Godley Lane, carrying on after hitting a lamppost and a wall.
Neal then jumped out of the moving vehicle which rolled into a fence.
He was chased on foot and apprehended.
Miss Rimmer said he tested positive for drugs at the scene but refused to provide a specimen for analysis.
He went on to plead guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and uninsured and failing to provide a specimen.
Neal also admitted three counts of attempted house burglary, theft of keys, vehicle interference, house burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.
His barrister, Ian Hudson, said he was 17 for all but the last set of offences.
He deserved credit for his guilty pleas and he had found being locked up on remand very difficult.
Neal was behaving well in custody and keen to make a fresh start.
Judge Jonathan Rose said he was still a very, very young man.
“You still have time to live a life that doesn’t involve what you are beginning to look like, a young person who will become an old lag,” he said.
If Neal had been older, he would be looking at a jail term of six or seven years, Judge Rose said.
He sentenced him to a total of 32 months in a young offender institution.
Neal was banned from driving for four years and four months.