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RECKLESS DRIVER: Speeding shoplifter jailed after doing 115mph between Watford and Hemel Hempstead

 Published on: 12th March 2020   |   By: Jake Levison   |   Category: Uncategorized

A shoplifter fleeing from the police drove at speeds of up to 115 miles per hour on the M1 between Watford and Hemel Hempstead, a court heard yesterday (Wednesday, March 11).

Paul Kearly, who appeared at St Albans Crown Court (pictured), was already wanted by the police as he veered from lane to lane in a bid to lose the police car on January 19. He succeeded, but was tracked and arrested several days later.

Prosecutor Charles Judge told the court that Kearly’s offending began on June 12 last year when he was detained by security staff at a B&Q store in Rooksley, Milton Keynes as he tried to steal a drill.

Taken into an office with his woman companion, Kearly headbutted a security officer three times.

Police arrived and he was subsequently arrested.

Father-of-three Kearly admitted the theft, but denied the assault on the security officer and a trial was fixed to take place in the magistrates court last December.

Mr Judge said Kearly of Green Acres, Slapton Road, Leighton Buzzard, failed to show up and he was convicted in his absence.

Despite being wanted by the police, it didn’t stop him walking into another B&Q store at the Archers Retail Park in Watford on January 19 this year.

He was with same woman as before and again staff became suspicious of the pair as they were seen by the drill section.

Outside in the car park, the pair were challenged by security staff.

Two drills were recovered but they made off in a Mini Cooper with a charger and batteries.

By now police had been alerted and Kearley, who was behind the wheel, was spotted by officers as he drove onto the M1 and headed north.

Mr Judge said there then followed a high speed chase.

Over an eight mile stretch of the motorway up to Hemel Hempstead, Kearly clocked up speeds of 115 miles per hour, he undertook other cars and veered from lane to lane.

In Court on Wednesday he pleaded guilty to two offences of theft, assault by beating, failing to attend his trial, making good his escape, dangerous driving and driving without a licence or insurance.

Edward Ellis, defending, said Kearly had committed the offences when his work dried up as a plumber and he needed money to fund his long-standing drugs habit.

Kearly was jailed for 20 months and disqualified from driving for two years.

He was told he would have to take an extended driving test before he can get behind the wheel of a car again.

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