BARRY Chambers stole a frail elderly couple’s car and led police on a high speed chase around Gloucester before crashing it and running off.
Magistrates heard this morning that the driver left the keys in his Mitsubishi Galant as he helped his disabled wife out of the car in Tredworth High Street on Thursday, March 27.
But Chambers, 35, saw the keys in the ignition and jumped in - he told police he took the car because he wanted to see his sons.
Chambers hit national headlines in 2006 when he caused £60,000-worth of damage to a house's roof during a 20 hour siege in Midland Road, Gloucester, which only ended after police gave him KFC and Coke.
“An elderly male told police he left his vehicle outside his house whilst he assisted his disabled and frail wife,” said Dafydd Paxton, prosecuting at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court.
“He left the keys in the ignition. That was the last time he saw his car and he reported it stolen to police.”
Officers spotted the car in Tredworth just after 4pm, said Mr Paxton.
“The area was searched by officers and when they saw the car, tried to stop it,” Mr Paxton said.
“The defendant’s reaction was to drive from them at speed. a high speed pursuit in a residential area followed and at times he hit 50mph in a 30mph zone.
“The danger to life and limb was clearly not important.
“At one point he forced a van from the road and he continued to drive across two footpaths and over a grass bank. He crashed the car, leaving it with smoke coming from under the bonnet and he ran away. He was apprehended by police.
“In a police interview he characterised the driving as ‘careless’ which was a somewhat generous observation.”
Mr Paxton said Chambers, a father of two, had been jailed five times since 2006 for similar and other offences.
Safina Din, defending, said Chambers accepted full responsibility.
“He said he took the opportunity,” she said. “He accepts it was stupid but he wanted to see his children.
“The temptation was too strong.”
She said although unemployed, he is taking courses to try and improve his job prospects.
Chambers, of Brook Street, Gloucester, admitted charges of aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
He was remanded in custody by magistrates, who told him he will be sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court on May 2.