Banned driver who led police on 100mph chase is locked up

Callum Grice has been sent to a young offenders' institution for 38 months.
Callum Grice has been sent to a young offenders' institution for 38 months.

A 19-year-old who led police on a 100mph chase and committed a series of messy burglaries has been locked up for more than three years.

Callum Grice was told by a judge that his sentence would have been much longer were it not for his young age, and the sentencing principle of 'totality'.

Grice led police on a 100mph chase through East Durham, and committed burglaries of houses and commercial premises.

Part of his modus operandi for the burglaries was to vandalise the properties by throwing food and other items around, Durham Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Peter Sabiston told the court the first offence Grice committed was dangerous driving in September last year.

"A mobile police patrol saw a car containing five occupants being driven suspiciously in Malvern Crescent, Seaham," said Mr Sabiston.

"The officer illuminated his blue lights, and what followed was a lengthy pursuit towards Easington Village during which the car reached speeds of 100 mph.

"It drove down a narrow residential street where there were cars parked and children playing.

"It also drove the wrong way down a 'no entry' street, the wrong way around a roundabout, eventually hitting a lamppost."

"Grice was arrested nearby, hiding behind a wall.

"He initially denied involvement, but was unable to explain why his DNA was later found on the driver's airbag of the car."

Grice, who was previously banned from driving for other offences, was arrested again after he was seen on CCTV driving in Dalton Park last year.

Mr Sabiston said Grice committed three burglaries in Crook in August this year.

"He broke into the Fir Tree pub. During that offence he carried out an untidy search of the property, which is a feature of the burglaries, before stealing cash, and a safe he removed from the premises in a wheelbarrow.

"The second burglary was of a house in which the owner was absent. Flour, ketchup, and other foodstuffs were thrown about the house, and a television and bouncy castle was stolen.

"The third burglary was of commercial premises and a flat above, during which cigarettes and cash were stolen."

Grice, of Margaret Street, Seaham, admitted three burglaries, driving while disqualified, dangerous driving, possession of amphetamine, and failing to surrender to custody.

Glen Gatland, defending, told the court: "His best mitigation is his young age, and his pleas of guilty.

"Mr Grice had a very unhappy and unsatisfactory childhood.

"He had a partner before these offences, but she miscarried their child, the relationship broke up, and Mr Grice went off the rails.

"His life was out of control, he was living rough and taking drugs.

"Since being remanded, he has shown signs of wanting to get his life back on track when he is eventually released."

Judge Christopher Prince sentenced Grice to 38 months in a young offenders' institution.

The judge told him: "In calculating the sentence, I have very much in mind the principle of totality.

"Were I to pass individual consecutive sentences, the sentence would have been much longer.

"You concede your life was out of control at the time, which is realistic, and I take account of the other difficulties you have faced.

"Nonetheless, the sentence must be a substantial one."

Grice was banned from driving for 31 months, and he must take an extended driving test if he wishes to drive after his ban expires.