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IN THE NEWS


ONE MAN CRIMEWAVE USED TAXIS AS GETAWAY CARS FROM DERBY BREAK-INS


Serial burglar, Craig Chance, ransacked a vast number of homes during a campaign of break-ins across Derby. Derby Crown Court heard how Chance, 45, would catch a taxi to a specific area he chose to target and asked it to wait while he forced entry into people’s properties. He would then jump in the same cab home with his booty of cash and jewellery after leaving his victim’s homes strewn with the contents from drawers he had emptied. The Derby Telegraph reports that Chance’s method of entry was by kicking in door panels then looting the homes. And in victim impact statements read to the court, those whose houses he targeted told of the emotional and finan- cial torment his spate of offending had left them in. Jailing Chance for four years and five months, Recorder Stuart Sprawson said: “You are entirely responsible for affecting many, many, families. The impact of these offences has been outlined to me in victim impact statement after victim impact statement. They talk about the violation of their homes with some saying that they now feel like prisoners in their own properties.


“In every case you adopted the same method of entry, forcing a back door and then undertaking what has best been described as a search and on other occasions ransacking. “And there is undisputed evidence that you would hire a taxi to bring you to a particular area, it would park and when you had done what you had done, take you back again.” Sarah Slater, prosecuting, said the offence began with two house burglaries on the same day in Southall, West London, in October 2019. She said exactly a year to the day from those break-ins, between October and December 2020, Chance began targeting homes in Derby. Miss Slater said items taken included thousands of pounds in cash, jewellery and electronic items, none of the stolen items from any of the break-ins have been recovered. Chance, from Nottingham, was snared after leaving his DNA at the scene of some of the crimes. Detectives then linked him to the others through his identical method of entry. He pleaded guilty to 12 burglaries and one count of attempted burglary. He has previous convictions for the same crimes dating back to the 1990s.


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A thug who punched a Leeds taxi driver unconscious during a row over a fare has been jailed for two years. According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Stephen James carried out the attack on the victim after he was dropped off outside his home in August last year. Leeds Crown Court heard James and another man got into the taxi and asked to be dropped off at a number of locations before they were taken to the defendant's address. Hannah Turner, prosecuting, said James and the other man confronted the victim after he asked for £12 for the journey. James walked up to the driver in an agitated state. The driver said to him: “I don’t want a fight.” James then punched the victim in the face. The prosecutor said: “The next thing the victim remembers is hitting the floor and tast- ing blood.” The driver was taken to hospital by ambulance with a suspected broken jaw. The jaw was not broken but he suffered severe swelling and headaches after the incident. James, 28, of no fixed address, was picked out by the victim during an identity procedure. The defendant pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Sentencing, Recorder Bryan Cox QC said: “It is clear from the victim impact statement that your assault had a substan- tial affect on his mental health and well-being to the extent that he now finds it difficult to work. This was an assault on a public servant carrying out a public service.”


26 SEPTEMBER 2021


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