You've no arms - you can be the driver

 
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:42 pm    Post subject: You've no arms - you can be the driver Reply with quote


Teenager with no arms leads police on high-speed chase as getaway driver in jewellery heist
By Sophie Freeman
13th September 2009

A man with no arms below his elbows led police on a 100mph chase following a smash and grab jewellery raid. John Smith, 18, was designated as the getaway driver for the heist - despite needing somebody to change the gears for him.

The youth led police on a high-speed car chase along the A2 from Kent to London before losing control and crashing on the approaches to the capital's Blackwall Tunnel. Despite heavy damage to the car, Smith, from Holloway, north London still continued to drive. It was only when police used their own vehicle to force the gang's Ford Focus into a wall in the tunnel that they were finally stopped, Maidstone Crown Court was told.

Smith pleaded guilty to his part in the 175,000 heist at Hempstead Valley shopping centre near Rainham and was given a 12-month youth custody order, suspended for two years. He was ordered to attend a 'Think First' programme, run by the Probation Service, and is subject to a six-month electronically-tagged curfew. Passing sentence, Recorder Charles George QC told Smith that his disability and the fact he did not take part in the raid itself enabled him to suspend the custodial sentence.

Lee Halliday-Davis, defending Smith, described how he depended on his mother on a daily basis at their specially-adapted home. She said he was unable to care for himself, needed help to dress and that his disability would make him 'vulnerable' in a custodial setting. The court also heard that the teenager, who remained in the car throughout the raid, has limited reading and writing skills. 'Because of his naivety he did not fully accept that by sitting in the car he was actually involved in the burglary,' said Miss Halliday-Davis.

The court was told that the raiders struck just before 2am on December 17 last year, after driving up to a service area outside a door leading into the shopping centre. Three of the gang, wearing hooded tops, were seen trying to smash their way in. They used various tools, including crowbars, as they attempted to force the doors open. They eventually broke a glass panel and climbed through. Once in the shopping centre, they used a claw hammer to smash a window at Ernest Jones. The trio, whose faces were concealed by clothing, then stole 174, 445 worth of jewellery before returning to the waiting car. Several tools, including a mallet and claw hammer, were found among the debris of the damaged shop.

Two other members of the gang who admitted burglary were jailed. Tyrone Tassell, 21, from Walthamstow, east London was jailed for 32 months, less 224 days already served on remand or under a tagged curfew. Sunni Sacco, 19, for whom no address was made available, was sentenced to two years in a young offenders' institution, less 241 days served on remand or under tagged curfew. Craig Phillips of Islington, north London was given a two-year supervision order and a six-month electronically-tagged curfew.

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This is from the Daily Mail where this comment was posted

Quote:
He WAS involved and should have been punished and not set free with a slapped wrist - Steve, Bedford, 13/9/2009 16:47


I wonder if they actually meant to sound like a complete idiot?!
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SpursFan1902
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Joined: 24 May 2007
Location: Sunshine State

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would hope so...
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