Two bungling tyre thieves are beginning jail sentences after a midnight raid ended with one of them being left behind at the scene and their getaway van colliding with a house.
Pensioner Teresa Williamson, 66, got the fright of her life when she was woken with a jolt as the abandoned Transit van careered into the front porch of her Elland home last November.
Ian Broadhurst, who had been part of a gang of up to eight men, had been trying to get away from the scene after their attempts to steal dozens of tyres from a parked up lorry outside the Lowfield’s Business Park had disturbed.
The gang, who had arrived in two vehicles, had slashed the curtain walls of the lorry and were unloading tyres, when they were ‘’spooked’.
Bradford Crown Court heard today/yesterday (thurs) that co-accused Johnathan Earnshaw, 27, was left behind after he was ‘’tossed’’ from the van and after a short distance Broadhurst abandoned the still moving vehicle at a nearby junction with Rosemount Avenue.
The van, which had been stolen in Huddersfield, was written off in the collision and Judge Jonathan Rose said the house had suffered significant damage.
‘’The only saving grace in the offence of dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking is that mercifully no pedestrian nor the occupant of that house was injured by this dreadful piece of driving,’’ said Judge Rose.
Following the incident it emerged that Mrs Williamson, a mother of six, had spent £25,000 renovating her three-bedroom terraced home.
After the collision the front porch area had to be propped up’ and there was damage stretching upstairs and in the kitchen.
Broadhurst, of Fairleigh Crescent, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to offences of theft, dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking and driving without a licence and insurance.
He also admitted an earlier burglary offence relating to unoccupied premises in Leeds.
The court heard that Broadhurst had previous convictions for various offences including dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and burglary.
He was jailed for a total of 27 months and banned from driving for two years.
Judge Rose said he would also have to take an extended driving test at the end of his ban.
Earnshaw, of Finkle Lane, Gildersome, admitted being involved in the theft of the tyres and he was jailed for 12 months.