Criminal with 130 offences took Halifax man's car to get to probation service appointment

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A Calderdale criminal with more than 130 offences on his record is back behind bars after he took a man's car so he could drive to a probation service appointment in Bradford.

Banned driver Adrian Ramsden told a court that he had jumped into the Honda Civic when he saw it on a street in Halifax with the keys in the ignition and the engine running.

Ramsden, who was still on prison licence for previous offending, was stopped by police about 20 minutes later and when officers searched him and the car they found stolen property from other crimes.

Bradford Crown Court heard that homeless drug user Ramsden had a store card which had come from a woman's stolen purse along with jewellery and bank cards which had been taken in a house burglary a few days earlier.

Prosecutor Louise Pryke said the 41-year-old, who had previous convictions for possessing bladed articles, was also found to have a kitchen knife with a five-inch blade in the pocket of his coat.

She said Ramsden's record included 47 previous convictions which included 65 dishonesty offences and 19 burglaries.

Ramsden, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to charges of taking a vehicle without consent, driving while disqualified, theft of the purse and handling the stolen jewellery and bank cards.

Judge Colin Burn was told that all the offending last November took place just a few weeks after Ramsden had been released from another short jail term for possession of a Stanley knife.

Ramsden's lawyer John Bottomley submitted that his client wanted to work with the probation service and argued that the defendant was now institutionalised because of his previous prison sentences.

"It's almost somewhere where he feels safe," said Mr Bottomley.

"He's been through the revolving door. He's been in and out of prison and it's something he wants to stop."

But Judge Burn pointed out that Ramsden's latest offence involving the possession of the knife meant he had to impose a jail sentence.

"There is a lot of public disquiet about carrying knives around," said the judge.

Ramsden, who has been on remand since last November, was sentenced to a total of 18 months in prison and banned from driving again for 15 months.

But the court heard he still had to take an extended driving test at the end of that ban before he can lawfully drive on the roads again.