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Prison for thief who dodged roadblocks
A THIEF dodged two police roadblocks during a high-speed chase after he was paid to steal a trailer.
Karl Barrett, from Redbridge Hollow, Oxford, has been jailed for two years after he admitted theft, handling stolen goods and dangerous driving.
The 25-year-old was discovered by police at an industrial site in Manor Road, South Hinksey, at about midnight on January 15 .
He had hooked up an Ifor Williams tipper trailer, belonging to Ian Beesley, to a Mitsubishi 4x4, which had been stolen from outside a house in Essex.
To escape he sped on to the southbound carriageway of the A34, dodging cars and two police roadblocks before turning off at the Hinksey Hill junction and making for the Redbridge Hollow travellers’ site, where he lived.
But there he found the entrance blocked by police cars and gave himself up.
Graham Bennett, defending, told Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday that Barrett had been paid to commit the crime after falling on hard times.
He said: “The items were recovered and returned to their owners in the same state as when they were taken.
“At the time of the offence he had recently been released from prison and couldn’t get back into work or register for benefits. He was struggling with his finances and took this job as a result. There were no actual injuries caused, although they were risked as an inevitable result of the driving.
“There was no suggestion of trying to barge into the police vehicles, which were parked at the site entrance.”
Barrett has previous convictions for stealing £200 worth of fuel from two lorries in September last year, stealing eight supermarket transportation cages from the Co-op in Berinsfield in October 2011, and three digger buckets worth £1,600 in Abingdon on May 2011.
Judge Patrick Eccles sentenced him to 16 months in prison for the theft and handling stolen goods, plus eight months for dangerous driving.
He said despite Barrett’s long criminal record he had not committed an offence this serious before.
Judge Eccles added: “These offences were professional in their planning and execution. They were premeditated and the courts take this sort of crime very seriously.
“Having been disturbed by the police you intended to escape by driving away at high speed.
“You drove through traffic along the A34, dodging between cars.
“The trailer was swinging from side to side and you drove through two roadblocks before you were eventually stopped by police.
“Your offences have now increased in scale and you have become someone associated with real criminals.
“No longer are you a petty thief, although you came to this sort of crime fairly late in your life. You are not an organiser, but a very willing accomplice and follower.”
Barrett was also sentenced for driving without insurance or a licence, but received no extra penalties.