A series of high-value burglaries at local commercial premises has put Patrick Jones, 28, from Liverpool, behind bars for two years. He was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court.

Jones went on the run after taking part in burglaries at Heritage Automotive, South Newton Industrial Estate, Chaldicott Barns, Jet Board, Semley, Block G Quarry Fields Mere, Wessex Water, Salisbury, Hertz Storage Land, Salisbury and an attempted burglary at Black Hole Storage Unit, South Newton Industrial Estate. At one of these premises, an estimated £45,000- worth of goods were taken.

Jones was already disqualified at the time of the offence in November 2018, and was sentenced to six months and disqualified for eight years and three months for dangerous driving after leading police officers on a high speed chase on the A500. The sentences will run consecutively. One of the traffic officers involved in the pursuit, during which Jones drove a red Audi A5, said it was one of the worst cases of dangerous driving he had witnessed. Several police vehicles were rammed before the vehicle was forced to stop and the occupants left the vehicle on foot.

Jones ran off across the dual carriageway and had been on the run since, but was identified and arrested in the West Midlands last month. The other occupants were detained and arrested at the scene. They have since been given custodial sentences for their involvement in the burglaries.

Judge Andrew Barnett said Jones had been involved in a “well planned and highly sophisticated operation” and added that the subsequent pursuit during which Jones “continued to drive at colossal speed” was “an appalling piece of driving, one of the worst cases of driving I’ve seen.”

On November 9, 2018, officers from Wiltshire Police’s Community Tasking Team in Salisbury identified the vehicle as a red Audi A5. Checks revealed the vehicle had travelled from Liverpool and was driving back north. Police colleagues from the Central Motorway Policing Group and Cheshire Police located the vehicle on the A500 and attempted to stop it. Despite successfully deploying a stinger device to deflate the tyres, the Audi continued to be driven dangerously by Jones at speed before being halted.

Jones was identified after officers from Wiltshire Police’s community tasking group searched the abandoned vehicle and found a receipt from a McDonald’s restaurant near Birmingham time-stamped before the pursuit. Officers retrieved CCTV of the Audi pulling up and the driver walking into the restaurant. An officer from Liverpool identified Jones.