Man stole and crashed 
friend’s £24,000 car

A man who stole and crashed a £24,000 car belonging to a friend who had let him lodge at his apartment has been jailed.

Mark Wilson, of Low Greave, East Dene, in Rotherham, was staying with friends he had known for more than 10 years after he fell out with his partner on July 30.

The 26-year-old was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court yesterday after admitting stealing items including a car, satnav, jewellery, trainers and £320 in Euros from their flat before driving to Manchester to sell them.

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Police clocked the car, which had been travelling at over 130mph, on the M62 that evening but a pursuit ensued in which Wilson rammed two police cars and crashed the stolen vehicle.

Conor Quinn, prosecuting, said the friends who had taken in Wilson, who has eight previous convictions, were among the few people not to have “deserted” him.

Wilson was returning from Manchester when police tried to pull him over. He turned off the motorway at Hartshead Moor services, near Cleckheaton, but failed to stop despite being ordered to do so by police.

A second police car was alerted and tried to stop him joining the M62 but it was rammed. The first police car then gave chase and pulled alongside him, but he smashed the car into a crash barrier.

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Katy Rafter, defending, told the court Wilson has since been unable to see his 19-month-old daughter and has lost his tenancy.

Recorder Sarah Todd said: “You had a difficulty in your personal life and turned to friends who were good enough to take you into their home and let you live there as a lodger but you repaid their kindness by stealing.”

Wilson had pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, theft, failing to stop for police, driving without insurance, driving other than in accordance with a licence and failing to surrender to custody.

He was ordered to pay a victim surcharge and given concurrent prison sentences of 12 months, nine weeks and 14 days.