A prolific burglar from Northampton who carried out three ram-raids during a two-week ‘crime spree’ has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail.
Darren Williams, aged 36, stole a number of cars which he then used to smash into the front of a jewellers and mobile phone shop in the town.
Northampton Crown Court heard Williams admitted carrying out a ram-raid at Nolan’s jewellers in Northampton town centre on Sunday, November 2, 2014, when £21,000 worth of damage was caused.
The Rover car used in the burglary had been stolen from The Plough Hotel the day before and new number plates had been put on the vehicle.
Two days later Williams stole a Vauxhall Astra from Europcar in Northampton and this was later used in the burglary of a house in Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire.
Caroline Bray, prosecuting, said the two occupants were both in bed when Williams broke in and carried out an ‘untidy search” of the property.
The court heard Williams stole the keys to a Land Rover and filled it up with items from the house including computers and jewellery.
But, as Williams was leaving in the Land Rover, the male occupant woke up and chased the vehicle in his underwear.
The homeowner managed to open the front door of the vehicle and push the steering wheel hard right so it crashed in to some bushes.
Ms Bray said he also punched Williams and managed to ensure he did not escape with any stolen items.
On November 8, 2014, Mr Williams then stole a Lexus car from a house in Kingsthorpe and this vehicle was then used in a ram-raid of the Mobile Phone Centre in Gold Street, where £800 worth of stock was taken.
Four days later, Williams entered the staff area of St Andrew’s Hospital and stole a Chevrolet, which was then used to ram-raid Steffans jewellers in Market Harborough.
A total of 30 “high value” watches were stolen from the store and £10,000 was caused.
Williams was later arrested at an address in Northampton and found in possession of 30 of the stolen watches.
Ms Bray said he made “full and frank” admissions about the other thefts and burglaries he had carried out.
The court heard Williams was a “prolific” offender who had served a number of prison sentences during his adult life.
When he appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ court on November 17, 2014, prosecutor Caroline Emmett described it as an “offending spree.”
Catherine Howell, mitigating, said Williams’s had committed the offence to fund his drug addiction.
His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo sentenced Williams to five-and-half years in prison, including three years for the burglary of the residential properties and two-and-a-half years, concurrently, for the ram-raids.
Williams, formerly of Collyweston Road, Northampton, has been in custody since he was arrested in November 2014.