Street lamp crash for driver who stole car

Police pursuing a Mini stolen in a burglary found the vehicle smashed into a street lamp.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday that a couple with a young baby living in Harecroft Road, Wilsden, Bradford were disturbed in the early hourse and found they had been burgled.

Michael Jowett, prosecuting, said they realised the woman’s red Mini, valued at £20,000, had been taken, along with other items.

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Police were told and officers spotted the vehicle driving towards them in Denholme.

They began to pursue it as the Mini accelerated to 70mph through a red light. It reached 80mph as it went round a sharp bend and the officers then saw two street lights go out.

They approached and saw a cloud of smoke and the damaged Mini free-wheeling backwards.

Adam Francis Virr was in the back seat and claimed to have been hitchhiking and picked up by the driver minutes before. His DNA was on the driver’s airbag.

Mr Jowett said while on bail and having failed to attend at Bradford Crown Court for that offence, Virr was involved in similar offences.

On April 27 a man parked his BMW outside his home in Wesley Street, Cleckheaton, with his sister’s Saab blocking him in.

The following morning they discovered the house had been broken into and both cars were missing.

The BMW was later seen being driven towards Odsal. Police saw it crest a hill in Cleckheaton Road at 90mph and called in air support.

Mr Jowett said officers were directed to an industrial estate. The vehicle was found parked and Virr was found.

He gave a false name. When a search was made the keys to both the BMW and the Saab were found hidden under a piece of cardboard by some fencing.

Sobia Ahmed, for Virr, said having kept out of trouble for a
considerable time for him, he
had committed the offences under pressure because he owed £9,000.

Virr, 26 of Brooklyn Road, Cleckheaton, was jailed for three years after admitting both burglaries, aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

Recorder Jeremy Barnett said the burglaries were serious offences and Virr was lucky not to have killed himself.