Shoplift­ing spree thief in car chase

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

A CRIM­I­NAL who has been be­fore the courts for more than 100 of­fences went on a shoplift­ing spree and led po­lice on a high-speed chase.

An­thony Mais stole hand­bags worth £1,000 dur­ing the se­ries of thefts and hit 80mph as he fled from two po­lice cars be­fore los­ing con­trol and crash­ing into a rail­way bridge.

Look­ing at his crim­i­nal record, Recorder Peter Grif­fiths QC said: “It goes on and on.”

Cardiff Crown Court heard the first theft oc­curred at TK Maxx in Llantrisant on May 9 when the de­fen­dant stole three shirts worth £39.99 each. Three days later, he took a shaver from Boots.

By­ron Broad­stock, pros­e­cut­ing, said Mais com­mit­ted a se­ries of driv­ing of­fences on July 16.

The court heard a po­lice of­fi­cer was pa­trolling the A48 near Usk Way when he saw the de­fen­dant in a sil­ver Re­nault Me­gane.

Pros­e­cu­tors said Mais sped up on Cardiff Road, be­fore driv­ing straight through a red light.

The of­fi­cer put on his blue flash­ing lights, but the de­fen­dant failed to stop, ac­cel­er­at­ing to 60mph in a built-up 30mph zone.

Mr Broad­stock said he went into a bus lane, hit­ting 80mph, be­fore los­ing con­trol on a bend, skidding across the car­riage­way and hit­ting a rail­way bridge.

Mais ac­cepted he had taken cannabis and co­caine in the days be­fore the in­ci­dent, but re­fused to give a blood sam­ple, stat­ing he did not like nee­dles.

He failed to sur­ren­der to bail at Merthyr Tyd­fil Mag­is­trates’ Court on Au­gust 4.

Pros­e­cu­tors said 10 days later, he stole two bot­tles of al­co­hol worth £80 from the shop at St Fa­gans Na­tional Mu­seum of His­tory.

The fol­low­ing day he took hand­bags worth £1,000 from TK Maxx in Tal­bot Green.

Mais stole 12 bot­tles of wine from Co-op in Llan­ishen on Au­gust 12, two bot­tles of whisky from St Fa­gans on Au­gust 22 and two bot­tles of wine from Co-op in Can­ton on Septem­ber 4.

The 37-year-old, of Bishop Han­non Drive in Cardiff, ad­mit­ted seven counts of theft from a shop.

He also ad­mit­ted driv­ing dan­ger­ously, driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied, with no in­sur­ance, fail­ing to stop, fail­ing to pro­vide a spec­i­men and two counts of fail­ing to sur­ren­der.

Pros­e­cu­tors said he had a “lengthy” crim­i­nal record, com­pris­ing 32 con­vic­tions for 105 of­fences.

Jonathan Lewis, de­fend­ing, said: “For as long as he can re­mem­ber, he has strug­gled with one ad­dic­tion or an­other.”

He told the court his client had reached a cross­road in his life, adding: “He knows he needs to knuckle down.”

Recorder Grif­fiths told the de­fen­dant: “It does not need me to tell you that you have got an ap­palling record.”

Mais was jailed for 22 months and dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing for five years.

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