High speed chase burglar jailed - Luton

07/08/2012

Prolific burglar Ian Smith was jailed for 5-years 9-months on Tuesday, 07 August 2012, after a judge said he could easily have killed someone in a high speed police chase.

Smith, 29, was being pursued in a car he had taken in a burglary at a house in Luton when he lost control as he tried to turn into Alton Road from Park Street.

He hit a parked car, which was pushed forward into another vehicle that struck a flat bed lorry, which was knocked into a wall. Smith fled but was arrested nearby, Luton Crown Court heard.

Smith of Kingsland Court, Kingsland Road, Luton pleaded guilty to two burglaries and one offence of dangerous driving. He had 10 previous burglary convictions and two previous convictions for dangerous driving.

Christopher Draycott for the Crown Prosecution Service said the first burglary happened in Cutenhoe Road, Luton overnight on 08 to 09 March while a woman and her daughter were asleep. Smith took car keys and a handbag containing a purse, Ipod and Kindle. He drove off in a Corsa that was parked outside.

Then, during the day time on 27 March, he carried out an audacious burglary in Hillary Crescent. He got into a house while a husband was out in the garden and the wife upstairs. He took car keys and a wallet from a sofa and left in the couple's silver Astra car. The first they knew of the theft was when the police called them at half past twelve that lunchtime to ask them to check if their car was there.

Mr Draycott said PC Mark Casey had spotted the Astra in West Hill Road and went off in pursuit as he saw it drive away. "It accelerated so harshly it went into a wheel spin and then suddenly braked before going down West Hill Road and into Cutenhoe Road. The police car followed as the Astra went at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. It left the ground as it went over speed humps in Park Street," he said.

When he tried to turn into Alton Road he hit the kerb and lost control.

Stuart Sprawson, defending, said Smith was addicted to crack cocaine and accepted his responsibility for the crimes.

Jailing him, Judge Michael Kay QC said: "You are the sort of person who is a nightmare on the roads. If you continue this sort of driving one day you will kill someone."

The judge on went to say that people are traumatised by being burgled, telling Smith: "The point has come when your problems should not be affecting everyone else. The public have a right to be protected from someone who burgles repeatedly and drives dangerously."

He jailed him for a total of 4 and a half years for the burglary and a further 15-months for the dangerous driving. He was banned from driving for 4-years and must take an extended retest.

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