Significant sentence for high value car thieves

17 February 2012 16:43

Significant sentence for high value car thieves

Police are releasing video footage of the moment they captured two of a group of six violent thieves from Coventry who have today 17 February 2012, been sentenced to a total of almost 36 years at Warwick Crown Court. Click here to view the footage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZgDBTdCZZ0

The men had all pleaded guilty to their involvement in a series of aggravated burglary and robbery offences that occurred between 22 November 2010 and 27 January 2011 where high performance cars such as Audis, Range Rovers and BMWs were targeted across Warwickshire, Leicestershire and the West Midlands.

(The full list of pleas that were accepted can be found at the end of this release.)

Twenty year old Simon Edward Badger from Coventry was today sentenced to 8 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to rob and dangerous driving.

Twenty-two year old Terrance Harris from Coventry was sentenced to 8 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to rob.

Twenty-seven year old Christopher French from Coventry, was sentenced to 3 years after pleading guilty to robbery, dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified and failing to provide a specimen.

Twenty-five year old John Shanley from Coventry was sentenced to 5 years 4 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to rob.

Twenty-two year old Daniel Christopher Young from Coventry, was sentenced to 8 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to rob, theft of a transit van, failing to stop, driving with no insurance, and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

Thirty-five year old John Joseph Woodman from Coventry was sentenced to 3 years 6 months after pleading guilty to handling stolen goods with an estimated value of over £160,000.

DI Pete Hill, who led the investigation explained “In what must have been a terrifying ordeal for the victims, the group would turn up in numbers dressed in dark clothing, wearing face coverings, armed with weapons such as machetes, axes, hammers and scaffold poles and force their way into dwelling houses where they would demand the keys for the high performance cars. If challenged by the occupants the group would often use excessive violence in order to secure they keys and make their escape. The group also targeted victims in the street and either threatened or assaulted them in order to steal the keys to the vehicle and then make off in the stolen car.”

Having stolen the high performance cars the group would rely on John Joseph Woodman to dispose of the proceeds of the crimes. The vast majority of the vehicles have not been recovered and of those that have were often found on ‘ghost plates’

In response to the increase in offences Warwickshire Police mounted an operation to target the group. At around 11.45pm on the night of the 26 January 2010 the group targeted a property situated in Long Itchington that at the time was occupied by a couple and their two children.

One of the offenders dressed all in black and wearing a face covering began to smash his way into the property through a ground floor window using a hammer. At the same time the front door to the property was being attacked by another offender.

The male occupant, trying to protect his family, struggled in vain to keep the offender from getting through the front door but he was unable to do so. Once the offenders got through the door one shouted repeatedly for the car keys whilst another threatened the occupant with a 3 foot-long metal scaffold pole.

Fearing for the safety of his family the male occupant pleaded with the attackers not to hurt his family and as a result handed over the keys to an Audi A5 and a Range Rover Sport. Having stolen the keys the offenders made off in the vehicle leaving the family deeply in shock and traumatised.

Officers deployed in the area picked up the stolen cars as they fled the scene, the Audi A5 was lost, but officers were able to remain with the Ranger Rover Sport as it made its way towards Coventry. For the next forty minutes officers followed behind the stolen Range Rover Sport during which time the vehicle was driven dangerously. At one point the Range Rover came to a sudden halt and the passenger of the vehicle got out and ran towards the police vehicle that was following them and threw objects at the police vehicle. On other occasions the driver of the Range Rover also placed the vehicle into reverse and reversed at speed at the police vehicles following. During one of these incidents a marked Warwickshire Police vehicle was rammed that resulted in two officers being injured and taken to hospital.

The Range Rover finally came to a halt in Copper Beech Drive, Foleshill, Coventry and this led to the arrest of Terrance Harris and Simon Badger.

Following the arrests Warwickshire Police, working closely with Leicestershire Police, continued the investigation into the series that led to the arrest and prosecution of the other offenders.

Speaking after the sentencing, DI Pete Hill said,

“I can not begin to imagine what it must have been like for the terrified victims and witnesses in this case. It must have been absolutely horrific. I am really pleased that the victims and their families will all know that for the next few years nobody else will have to go through the same ordeal that they had to endure. In the eyes of the victims and their families no prison sentence will probably ever seem enough.

I would like to thank the officers from Warwickshire Police and particularly PS Damian Shave from West Midlands Police whose actions on the night of 26th January going in to the 27 January 2010 led to the arrest of the first two offenders.”

The subsequent investigation involved a small, dedicated team of Detectives from Warwickshire who worked closely with Detectives from Leicestershire Constabulary. It was this hard work coordinated by DS Andy Denny that led to the others involved in the conspiracy.

Basis of Pleas

The pleas which have been accepted are as follows:


Badger

Conspiracy to commit burglary between 22/11/10 - 27/1/11

Conspiracy to rob between 22/11/10 - 27/1/11

Dangerous driving - 26/1/11


In relation to Counts 1 & 2, the guilty pleas were on the basis that Badger was only involved in the following incidents:

1. 5/1/11 - Strawberry Fields, Meriden

2. 10/1/11 - Coventry Road, Brinklow

3. 16/1/11 - Canberra Way, Burbage

4. 26/1/11 - Long Itchington

5. 15/1/11 - Rugby Road, Bulkington

6. 24/1/11 - Buttercup Way, Bedworth

7. 27/12/10 - Pennant Road, Burbage


Harris

Conspiracy to commit burglary between 22/11/10 - 27/1/11

Conspiracy to rob between 22/11/10 - 27/1/11


The guilty pleas were on the basis that Harris was involved in the incidents at the following addresses:


1. 10/1/11 - Coventry Road, Brinklow

2. 15/1/11 - Rugby Road, Bulkington

3. 15/1/11 - Canberra Way, Burbage

4. 18/1/11 - Azalea Close, Lutterworth

5. 24/1/11 - Buttercup Way, Bedworth

6. 25/1/11 - Long Itchington


He also pleaded on the basis that he did not go into the address at Long Itchington and that he was the individual with the hammer. He brandished it but didn't use it to hit anybody with.


French

Robbery on 5/1/11of Audi S3

Dangerous driving - 5/1/12

Driving while disqualified - 5/1/12

Fail to provide a specimen - 5/1/12


The guilty plea was on the basis French did not personally go inside Strawberry Fields.


Shanley

Conspiracy to steal Vauxhall Meriva between 1/12/10 & 2/2/11


The guilty plea was on the basis that he lent support to the offence in the course of the telephone traffic.


Conspiracy to rob between 22/11/10 & 27/1/11.


The guilty plea was on the basis that he acted as a driver and did not enter the premises. He was involved with 3 addresses:


1. 27/12/10 - Pennant Road, Burbage

2. 28/12/10 - Fillongley

3. 5/1/11 - Strawberry Fields, Meriden


He accepted that he knew his co-conspirators entered the premises armed.


Young

Theft of Transit Van - 24/5/11

Fail to stop - 24/5/11

No insurance - 24/5/11

Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence - 24/5/11

Conspiracy to steal Vauxhall Meriva between 1/12/10 & 2/2/11

Conspiracy to commit burglary between 22/11/10 & 27/1/11

Conspiracy to rob between 22/11/10 & 27/1/11


He pleaded guilty on the basis of involvement at the following addresses:

1. 27/12/10 - Pennant Road, Burbage

2. 10/1/11 - Coventry Road, Brinklow

3. 15/1/11 - Rugby Road, Bulkington

4. 15/1/11 - Canberra Way, Burbage

5. 18/1/11 - Azalea Close, Lutterworth

6. 26/1/11 - Long Itchington


He pleaded guilty on the basis that in relation to the above premises he acted as a lookout and a secondary driver.


Woodman

Handling

The guilty plea was on the basis that the defendant was guilty of handling on the following dates (values added):


1. 20/12/10 - Vauxhall Meriva (£17,685)

2. 27/12/10 - BMW 520D (£30,000)

3. 28/12/10 - BMW 320D & MX5 (£22,000 and £10,000)

4. 5/1/11 - Audi S3 (£15,000)

5. 18/1/11 - Seat Leon & Vauxhall Astra (£16,000 and £9,000)

6. 26/1/11 - Audi A5 (£55,000).


In his basis of plea he acknowledged an estimated total value of over £160,000. The total value is £174,685.

 

EXPLANATION OF CLIPS OF FOOTAGE

 

CLIP 1 (14.48) - This shows the Range Rover Sport coming to halt on the dual carriageway, the passenger getting out of the vehicle and throwing objects at the marked police vehicle following behind.

 

CLIP 2 (43.46) – This shows the Range Rover reversing at speed down the slip road on the A444 and reversing into a marked Warwickshire Police Vehicle that left two officers injured.

 

CLIP 3 (47.00) the end of the incident that led to the arrest of Terrance Harris and Simon Badger.

Hazel Nicholas


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