Porsche thief’s 130mph chase

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A CAR thief who led police on a 130mph chase has been jailed.

Steven Edwards broke into lockers at Peterlee Leisure Centre to snatch the keys to the high-performance Porsche Boxster.

Durham Crown Court heard Edwards filled the car with £50 of petrol and sped off without paying.

“He was seen on CCTV taking the keys,” said Sean Dodds, prosecuting. “The fuel was taken about 10 minutes later from the New Seaham service station.

“A short time after that, a police patrol saw the car being driven along the A690 at West Rainton.

“The officer gave chase and the Porsche speeded up and joined the A1(M) at Carrville, heading south.

“It weaved from lane to lane, using the hard shoulder at a speed estimated by the officer to be 110mph.

“At one point the car reached 130mph.”

The court heard the Porsche left the A1(M) and hit a van that was waiting in traffic on the sliproad.

Edwards, 22, of Grasmere Road, Peterlee, admitted dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, making off without payment and driving without a licence or insurance, all on December 1, last year.

He admitted an earlier burglary of Thornley Community Centre, when he stole the keys to a Mercedes.

The court heard Edwards has previous convictions for burglary and motoring offences.

Ron Mitchell, defending, said: “He has been recalled to prison to serve the balance of his last sentence, and is not due to be released until March next year.

“The maximum sentence for these motoring offences is two years, and he’s entitled to a discount for pleading guilty.”

Judge Christopher Prince jailed Edwards for 18 months and banned him from driving for three years.

The judge said: “This was a truly horrific piece of driving which was only brought to a halt thanks to the brave actions of the police officers who pursued you.

“I must pass the appropriate sentence, but I am acutely aware the 18 months means you are unlikely to serve any extra time over your period of recall.”

Edwards must take an extended test if he wishes to drive after his driving ban expires.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho