Two police chases, a helicopter, sniffer dogs and a trip the wrong way down the A43.. for a statue stolen from The Range

Two police chases, a helicopter, sniffer dogs and a trip the wrong way down the A43.. for a statue stolen from The Range Callum Gordon made off with a Buddha statue (picture for illustrative purposes) from The Range

A Northampton career criminal took police on two blue-light chases, drove the wrong way down the A43 and sparked a helicopter and dog search – all to get away with a statue of Buddha he’d stolen from a popular homewares shop. Callum Gordon has been offending since he was 12 and was handed his first custodial sentence when he was just 14. Now aged 30, Northampton Crown Court heard how he made a bid to steal the statue and a picture frame worth a combined total of GBP245 during an early-hours raid at The Range in St James Retail Park in Towcester Road.

But as he and two accomplices tried to get away from the scene in a flat-bed tipper truck at 3.25am on May 1, they were spotted on CCTV and police were called out.

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Two police chases, a helicopter, sniffer dogs and a trip the wrong way down the A43.. for a statue stolen from The RangeTwo police chases, a helicopter, sniffer dogs and a trip the wrong way down the A43.. for a statue stolen from The RangeCallum Gordon

By the time they arrived, Gordon had left the retail park and police caught up with him shortly afterwards. The court heard on Friday, June 4 that the truck began to pick up speed, driving at up to 50mph in residential streets. The police car then had to end the chase as no tactical pursuit unit was available.

When a car was found to continue the pursuit, Gordon’s vehicle was spotted on the A43 travelling in the wrong carriageway. Prosecuting, Ben Gow, said: “It was spotted driving in the wrong carriageway in the direction of two oncoming vehicles, one of them an articulated lorry.” The truck left the A43 at Tiffield and officers on blue lights again picked it up crossing the A45 at Cold Higham.

Mr Gow added: “It was cutting corners on back roads. It was immediately apparent to the police drivers that his driving was dangerous.” Gordon refused to stop for the officers and then objects began to be thrown from the vehicle as it reached the villages of Litchborough and Foxley, passing through crossroads without braking.

The court was shown police footage of Gordon turning along a farm track and then deliberately turning into a wooden fence, which he crashed through before coming to a stop and making a run for it. He was caught an hour after the initial incident with the help of a team of dog trackers and the police helicopter. A police officer was kicked in the chest during the arrest.

The court was told that Gordon had 87 previous convictions for 36 offences including robbery, burglary, theft, breaching court orders, aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified. Mitigating, Pree Brada, said that her client had a job offer and a secure home to go to and that he was committed to turning his life around. She said he had been in care since the age of seven and had been offending since he turned 12.

“He really has no stability in his life,” said Ms Brada. “It’s the first time he’s had a chance of full-time employment. He clearly needs some intervention but until that intervention happens he’s in a vicious cycle of going in and out of prison.

“He really does want to change this time.” She asked the court to consider a suspended sentence. Sentencing Gordon, Recorder William Davis said that Gordon’s driving was ‘extremely dangerous’ and could have resulted in a ‘major accident and the loss of life.’

“I’ve seen footage of you driving at totally unsuitable speeds for the type of road and crossing a number of junctions and any other person there at the time would have had very little chance of taking evasive action,” he said. “You were disqualified from driving at the time. You have a dreadful record.”

He said he would take Gordon’s guilty plea into account when sentencing him and that, if the case had gone to trial sentencing guidelines would have landed him with a 21 month jail sentence. Gordon was jailed for 14 months for dangerous driving, three months for driving while disqualified, one month for criminal damage, two months for theft and given no separate penalty for driving without insurance. All the sentences will run concurrently and Gordon will serve half of the total 14 month sentence before being released on licence.

He was also disqualified from driving for three years and seven months before he will be eligible to take a mandatory re-test. Co-defendants Kimberley Hutchings, 26, of Golding Close, Daventry, and Kalon Farmer, 28, of Semilong Road, Northampton, pleaded guilty to one count of theft during a magistrates’ court hearing last month and will be sentenced for their part in the crime in July. ?

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