A serial offender’s two-day crime spree, which saw him try to burgle two homes, lead police on a reckless high-speed chase and attempt to steal a chainsaw, has cost him four years in jail.
David Stuart Lawrence narrowly avoided hitting a pensioner while being pursued by traffic officers in the Marton Road area of Middlesbrough.
Then just two days later, the “professional burglar” was caught trying to steal a chainsaw from a hardware store before going on to target two homes in Marton.
Sue Jacobs, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court his offending started at about 11.40am on February 6 this year.
“The defendant had been seen driving a Renault Megane along Valley Road by traffic officers,” she said.
“The ANPR cameras indicated the Megane did not have insurance.”
A chase ensued which saw Lawrence driving 50mph in a 30mph zone – at times on the wrong side of the road – failing to stop for a red light and driving the wrong way down a one-way system.
He was finally apprehended by officers when his car became stuck in the mud as he tried to cross a grass verge.
He admitted driving without insurance, tax and driving while banned but told officers his driving was “not dangerous”.
It was while on bail for these offences that the 38-year-old then tried to steal a chainsaw from BQ on Skippers Lane.
He fled empty-handed after being confronted by staff, before moving on to Sunstar Grove in Marton.
After failing to burgle his first target, he then went on to steal almost £3,000 worth of goods from another.
Ms Jacobs told the court a neighbour had spotted Lawrence “acting suspiciously” and called police.
But when officers tried to stop the motorcyclist by parking a car across the road, Lawrence managed to flee again.
His offending was finally brought to an abrupt halt when he crashed the bike Marton Road, outside James Cook University Hospital, and suffered a broken arm.
Lawrence, of Marton Road, Middlesbrough, admitted two counts of dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance. He also pleaded guilty to the charges of theft, burglary and attempted burglary.
His record includes 22 previous convictions for driving while disqualified, two previous offences of dangerous driving and 15 previous burglary offences.
Ms Jacobs said “he appears to be a professional burglar of late.”
Graham Silvester, defending, said after his arrest on February 6, Lawrence “fell back into drug use, which explains his offending on February 8”.
“He had had dark moments while in care in his younger years. He now just wants to get his sentence over and done with,” he added.
The judge Recorder Jonathan Adkin sentenced Lawrence to four years in prison and banned him from driving for 18 months.