Career criminal rammed police car as he drove 'professional burglary team' around Leeds

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A career criminal rammed a police vehicle in Leeds before driving off at speed along pavements and forcing pedestrians onto the road.

Gavin Shaw was with a “professional burglary team” and driving them around in a black VW Passat when police tried to pull them over early evening on October 31, Leeds Crown Court heard.

The car had been reported after it had stopped a short time before then on Grove Road in Ilkley and a passenger got out and stole a bag containing £1,200 worth of tools from a plumber’s van.

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Shaw, 38, was behind the wheel when the police tried to box the Passat in, prosecutor Fen Greatley-Hirsch said. But when an officer got out to challenge them, he rammed into the police’s BMW X5 before reversing at speed.

Shaw drove into the police vehicle when they tried to stop him. (pic by WYP / National World)Shaw drove into the police vehicle when they tried to stop him. (pic by WYP / National World)
Shaw drove into the police vehicle when they tried to stop him. (pic by WYP / National World)

During the short pursuit, Shaw drove on the wrong side of a dual carriageway and on pavements. He reached speeds of 55mph in 20mph areas. He then stopped the car and all of the men fled on foot, with the police quickly apprehending Shaw.

Inside the car they found the plumber’s bag, plus other tools, a lock-snapping device and gloves, suggesting they had stolen other tools and were equipped to commit crimes.

Shaw, of Romney Mount, Pudsey, admitted theft from a vehicle, failing to stop, dangerous driving, going equipped, driving without a licence and having no insurance.

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He has more than 30 previous convictions for multiple burglaries and other offences. He was out of prison on licence for burglary at the time.

Mitigating, Craig Sutcliffe provided little defence for Shaw, but pointed to the chase being approximately just 90 seconds long and despite other tools being found in the Passat, no other burglaries were reported to suggest the occupants were involved in further crimes that day.

Judge Robin Mairs told Shaw, who was being held on remand at HMP Leeds: “It was obviously a professional burglary team. You are a professional criminal making a career out of breaking onto houses. You acted with contempt for the safety of every other road user and pedestrian. It’s blindingly obvious what you and the others were about that evening.”

He jailed Shaw for 32 months and banned him from driving for 40 months.