Car thief careered along pavement outside primary school

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.
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A prolific car thief who careered along the pavement outside a Burnley school and smashed into a family’s car tying to escape from police, has been locked up.

The town’s crown court was told how schizophrenic Liam Heaton drove about 20m. after mounting the kerb outside Cherry Fold Primary School on Greenock Street. He later abandoned the stolen Renault Megane and ran off after crashing into the car, leaving driver Janet Tattersall and her son-in-law with “nasty injuries”.

Heaton (20) who already has a long record for car crime, has now been sent to a young offenders’ institution for eight months, after a judge said he hadn’t cared who he put in danger.

The defendant, of Penistone Street, Burnley, had admitted aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, no licence and no insurance. He was banned for two years and must take an extended driving test.

Miss Judith McCullough (prosecuting) said the Megane was stolen from outside a house in Accrington in the early hours of March 7th and on March 9th was seen by a police officer to mount a kerb outside the school after veering onto the wrong side of the road.

Mr Philip Holden (defending) said he had been diagnosed with psychosis, schizophrenia and depression and was on medication. He received disability living allowance because of his mental health problems.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told Heaton: “It’s clear that non- custodial sentences have not stopped you and have not deterred you. This resulted in a nasty collision, which caused nasty injuries to both the innocent people in the other car.”