A TEENAGER was arrested after a five-day burglary spree ended in a 110mph car chase through Ellesmere Port.
James Patrick Monaghan, 17, of Caernarfon Court, Ellesmere Port, was sentenced to a two-year detention and training order at Chester Crown Court on Monday after stealing cars, laptops, mobile phones, cash, bank cards and cameras worth thousands of pounds.
This means that Monaghan – already a prolific offender with 14 previous sentences to his name – will serve 12 months detention, followed by 12 months training.
Prosecuting, Meirion Lewis-Jones described how the crime spree started on February 28, when he was seen driving a Nissan Almera that had been stolen from a house in Deeside, Whitby.
This was followed by a garage break-in at a house in Brunswick drive and burglary of a nearby home in the same street on March 3, when he took a Fiat 500 car as the occupants slept.
Mr Lewis-Jones added: “CCTV from nearby premises filmed a male pushing the car off the driveway at 5.30am.
“He had been seen arriving in the area an hour before and forensic tests placed him at the scene.”
Monaghan, who first appeared before the courts three years ago and was banned from driving for two years in December 2010, was later seen by the homeowner’s son at a set of traffic lights.
After realising he had been spotted, he ran the lights and sped off. The car, which was less than 12 months old and worth £12,500, was written off and found abandoned the next day.
His DNA was discovered on a cigarette lighter in the car.
On March 4, he broke into a house in Underwood Drive, taking a laptop, two mobile phones, a digital camera and £80 cash to the total value of £1,130 as well as the keys to a BMW car.
He was spotted driving this car by an off-duty police officer at 7.30am in Stanney Lane before he cut up a car driven by a police inspector on Sutton Way.
The inspector was forced to abandon the chase after Monaghan ran two red lights on the A41 and reached speeds of up to 85 miles per hour.
He was arrested when he lost control of the car after running four more red lights and driving on the wrong side of a dual carriageway at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour.
Defending, Peter Moss, described how Monaghan had gone off the rails following the tragic loss of his father, aunt and grandmother within the space of a year.
He added: “He has a sensible, caring mother, who spends her time beside herself with worry. She says he was fine until his father died.”
Judge Stephen Clarke said: “Clearly, you have had an astonishingly large number of court appearances.
“You appear resigned to your life and express no hope despite the support of your family, particularly your mother.
“This is very alarming in someone so young but I hope that you can see there is some future for you.”
A court order banning Monaghan’s identification due to his age was overturned following an appeal by The Pioneer.