A CAR thief who led police on a dangerous high speed chase before crashing into a hedge has been jailed for two years.
Police gave chase after spotting Kenneth Cartwright, 25, formerly of Blacon, at the wheel of a Citroen C4 he had stolen from the drive of a house in Ormond Street, Chester.
Chester Crown Court heard Cartwright reached speeds of up to 86mph with the police in pursuit. He repeatedly lost control and narrowly escaped a head-on collision before hitting a kerb and ending up in a hedgerow.
Cartwright, of Station Road, Ellesmere Port, stole the car along with money, a laptop and mobile phone during the burglary in the early hours of June 15.
He had been released from prison just eight days earlier and the court was told a child living in the house had been left traumatised as a result of the burglary.
Police began to chase Cartwright after he was seen driving the stolen car in Ellesmere Port on the same day as the burglary.
He was chased along Station Road and Westminster Road before eventually crashing and being arrested.
Cartwright was abusive and told police he had bought the car for £100 but a footprint strongly matching Cartwright’s was found on the kitchen floor at the house in Ormond Street.
Cartwright admitted burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving without a licence and without insurance.
Recovering drug addict and father-of-one Cartwright told the court he was determined to turn his life around and wanted to get off drugs.
Francis Hertzog, defending, said Cartwright had been addicted to class A drugs for eight years and had been in and out of prison.
She said: “Cartwright tells me today quite candidly that if he does not do anything about his addiction and do something to change his way this will be his life.
“He is 25 and is looking down the barrel of lifelong incarceration if he does not do something about his addiction.
“He wants rehabilitation, wants to become drug free and wants to be a proper father to his child.
“He has been talking about how he wants to go in to prisons and schools and talk about how he has wasted his life.”
Sentencing Cartwright to a reduced prison term, The Recorder of Chester Judge Elgan Edwards said: “I am impressed by the fact you genuinely want to turn over a new leaf and I hope you do because the court will not be lenient a second time.
“But what you did was serious. Burglary at a dwelling at night time is a serious offence and a child has been traumatised.”