Brave owner caught up in car theft drama

Liverpool Crown Court

Liverpool Crown Court

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A WIGAN householder gave chase in his bare feet after he spotted four intruders in his driveway trying to steal his high-performance car.

One of the raiders, who had smashed a window to get into the £15,000 Audi, drove it through the closed electric gates and crashed into a wooden fence.

Details of the late night drama in Winstanley unfolded at Liverpool Crown Court after the criminal behind the wheel, Zahid Rehman, appeared for sentence, having admitted aggravated vehicle taking.

The 20-year-old had travelled from the West Midlands with his accomplices, who have not been traced, and a judge said that it had been “a well-planned attempt to take a car of high value.”

Frank Dillon, prosecuting, said that about 10.30pm on February 12, Steven Kay took his dog out for a walk and after noticing four men lurking around turned on his CCTV system when he got home.

About 45 minutes later three of them had entered the grounds, despite the electric gates, and Rehman approached the driver’s door of the Audi A4 and after unsuccessfully trying to get in smashed the window to gain access.

Mr Kay came out and Rehman reversed it towards the electric gates which his three companions were trying to force open.

Mr Kay managed to reach in and grab Rehman’s mobile phone.

Rehman pushed him away with the door and got out and threw a slate at him.

Mr Kay threw slates back at him and his accomplices and Rehman tried to kick him and then got back in the car and drove it through the closed gates and hit a wooden fence and Rehman jumped out while it was still in motion.

The owner chased after the vehicle and managed to stop it before it collided with anything else, said Mr Dillon.

Rehman, of Hartop Road, Alum Road, Birmingham, was tracked down by his DNA on the phone, which he had been holding in his mouth at one stage, and was identified by a Staffordshire police officer from the CCTV footage.

The damage to the Audi and the gates is estimated at £7,000.

David Houldcroft, defending, said that Rehman, who has previous convictions, including criminal damage and vehicle interference, had fallen into with others who had done him favours and given him money, alcohol and cannabis.

“He felt beholden to them and they eventually asked him to do them a favour which involved taking this vehicle.

“He had been out of work for a considerable time and felt he owed this group and wanted the chance to give some money to his family. He has learnt a very expensive lesson,” said Mr Houldcroft.

Recorder Mark Ainsworth sentenced Rehman to 12 months’ detention and said that he would have succeeded in his theft plan but for the gates which he “slammed into” in the car.