Burnley car thief with almost 200 convictions jailed for 13 months
3:49pm Wednesday 31st October 2012 in News
A CAR thief with almost 200 convictions, who tore around a residential area of Burnley after a 24-hour drinking binge, has been jailed for 13 months.
Aaron George, 22, has been breaking the law since he was 11, Burnley Crown Court heard.
During his latest crime, he almost ran down pedestrians, swerved all over the road, mounted kerbs and 'burst out' of junctions with police in pursuit.
The hearing was told that nobody was injured by his actions at the wheel of the potentially 'lethal weapon'.
George finally abandoned the badly damaged vehicle in a field, where it was found about four hours after he took it.
He was arrested five days on and did not answer police questions.
The defendant, father of a six-month-old child, had a long record for taking cars and other offences and had repeatedly taken no notice of the probation service when they had tried to help him over the years.
The defendant, of Towneley Street, Burnley, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, no licence and no insurance, on June 2. He was also banned from driving for three years.
Sarah Statham, prosecuting, said George took the Skoda Fabia from his friend Daniel Sturdy, after waking him up just after midnight, with a can in his hand, demanding a lift.
Mr Sturdy had refused, so the defendant helped himself to the car keys and drove the vehicle away. Police were alerted.
Two police officers, in an unmarked vehicle, saw the defendant driving dangerously at about 2.30am. They gave chase but lost it.
The officers had gone to the area where they believed George was saw the Skoda being driven ‘wildly’ down Melrose Avenue at speed. The police saw George speed across junctions, mount kerbs and swerve all over the road, leaving a trail of black smoke.
The prosecutor said the defendant was seen to ‘narrowly miss colliding with some people just coming out of a house and onto the street’ in Piccadilly Road.
James Heyworth, for George, said: “Somebody who has been offending since 11 isn’t going to stop overnight.”
He said George had a problem with alcohol. He said: “When he binge drinks, it’s not just a night out. It’s for days. He had been drinking certainly for over 24 hours when he committed this offence.”
Sentencing him, Recorder Simon Killeen said: “This is an extremely serious offence, because when you get behind the wheel of a car, it’s in fact a lethal weapon.”