Career criminal jailed for leading cops on high-speed chase after he stole a Buddha statue

The getaway vehicle was spotted driving the wrong way on the A43 towards an articulated lorry

A career criminal who attacked a cop after leading police on a dangerous high-speed chase as he tried to escape with a stolen statue of Buddha has been jailed.

Callum Gordon, 30, took the garden ornament from The Range before fleeing in a flat-bed tipper truck on1 May.

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A court heard Gordon drove the wrong way down an A-road into oncoming traffic and sparked a major helicopter and dog search in an effort to get away with the £225 statue.

Callum Gordon (SWNS)

High speed chase on A43

Gordon was first spotted on CCTV with two other accomplices breaking into the homeware store in Northampton at 3.45am.

Police were then called out, and when they caught up with the thieves the truck sped through residential streets at up to 50mph.

The getaway vehicle was then spotted driving the wrong way on the A43 towards an articulated lorry.

Gordon left the dual carriageway and officers pursued him through villages as he sped straight through crossroads.

Prosecuting, Ben Gow, said: "It was spotted driving in the wrong carriageway in the direction of two oncoming vehicles, one of them an articulated lorry.

"It was cutting corners on back roads. It was immediately apparent to the police drivers that his driving was dangerous."

Gordon then turned along a farm track and deliberately crashed through a wooden fence before abandoning the vehicle and fleeing on foot.

He was caught an hour later despite kicking a police officer in the chest with the help of a team of dog trackers and the police helicopter.

Gordon, of Camp Hill, Northampton, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, criminal damage, theft and driving without insurance.

Jailed for 14 months

He was jailed for 14 months and banned from driving for three years and seven months at Northampton Crown Court on Friday (4 June).

Sentencing, Recorder William Davis told Gordon his driving was “extremely dangerous” and could have resulted in a “major accident and the loss of life.”

He said: “I've seen footage of you driving at totally unsuitable speeds for the type of road and crossing a number of junctions and any other person there at the time would have had very little chance of taking evasive action.

"You were disqualified from driving at the time. You have a dreadful record."

The court was told Gordon had 87 previous convictions for 36 offences including robbery, burglary, theft, breaching court orders, aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

He began offending aged 12 and served his first custodial sentence when he was 14.

Pree Brada, defending, said: “He really has no stability in his life.

“It's the first time he's had a chance of full-time employment.

“He clearly needs some intervention but until that intervention happens he's in a vicious cycle of going in and out of prison.

“He really does want to change this time."

Co-defendants Kimberley Hutchings, 26, and Kalon Farmer, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of theft last month and will be sentenced for their part in the robbery in July.