Slapped Wrist for man who stole Landrover Defender from Draughton

Skipton Magistrates

A thief that stole a Land Rover Defender from Draughton and smashed it into a wall, causing £15,000 damage to the vehicle, was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison – suspended for two years at court yesterday.

Adam Virr, 29, admitted to aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance at Skipton Magistrates court on Tuesday. The court heard how the offender from Cleckheaton hot-wired the Land Rover Defender worth £22,000 outside the owners house in Draughton during the early hours of June the 10th last year.

Virr also assaulted a police officer at Harrogate Police Station, punching him in the face after his arrest on June 10, he received an eight week suspended sentence, to run concurrently.

He received a five year driving ban with a condition of taking an extended driving test before he can drive again.

The vehicle had a tracker fitted which alerted the owner the Defender had been stolen via a text message from the tracking company, said prosecutor, Charles Macrae.

The Police were also alerted and the Landrover was spotted a short while later by a firearms officer who followed it to Hebden Bridge, Calderdale. Virr, drove recklessly through a 30mph zone and then proceeded to crash into a parked car before hitting a high wall in Lee Mill Road, Hebden Bridge.

The 29 year old ditched the Landrover, ran off, and was apprehended by police officers less than 150 metres away in a wooded area. He was found to be carrying a tool with a flat bladed screwdriver, which police suspected had been used to hot-wire the vehicle.

Virr was taken into custody, and it was while at Harrogate Police Station that he punched an officer in the face, causing bruising, and cracked teeth.

Virr, already on a 16 month sentence, suspended for two years imposed by Bradford Crown Court for unrelated matters, was told by magistrates he would be sent to prison if he committed another offence in the next two years.

He was also ordered to pay £300 compensation to the owner of the Landrover, to cover his insurance excess, and £119.70 to the police officer.

Our thoughts, its no wonder so many Defenders are being stolen with such lenient sentencing.

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