A MAN who went on the run after taking part in a series of high-value burglaries in Salisbury and south Wiltshire has been jailed for two years.

Patrick Jones, from Liverpool, was sentenced yesterday (Wednesday) at Winchester Crown Court.

The 28-year-old, who was already disqualified at the time of the offence in November 2018, was also sentenced to six months and disqualified for eight years and three months for dangerous driving after leading police on a high speed chase on the A500.

The sentence 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, before he 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”.

The burglaries were carried out at:

• Heritage Automotive, South Newton Industrial Estate, Salisbury

• Chaldicott Barns, Jet Board, Semley, Wiltshire

• Block G Quarry Fields Mere, Wiltshire

• Wessex Water, Salisbury

• Hertz Storage Land, Salisbury

An attempted burglary took place at Black Hole Storage Unit, South Newton Industrial Estate Salisbury

Salisbury Journal: Patrick JonesPatrick Jones

At one of these premises, an estimated £45,000 worth of goods were taken.

On November 9, 2018 officers from Wiltshire Police’s Community Tasking Team in Salisbury were quickly able to identify the vehicle involved as a red Audi A5.

Checks made on automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) revealed that 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 it was successfully brought to a stop.

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 which was time stamped just prior to the pursuit. Officers were able to retrieve CCTV of the Audi pulling up and the driver walking into the restaurant. An officer from Liverpool was subsequently able to identify him as Jones.

Detective Constable Cerys Jones said: “We welcome the fact that Jones has been brought to justice thanks to the skill and dedication of officers from Wiltshire Police with the support of colleagues from neighbouring forces. We hope this sentence sends out a clear message that Wiltshire is not an easy target. We have the skill, dedication and resources to bring offenders to justice and will not hesitate to do so.”