Burglar who led police on dangerous car chase jailed

Caught: Lee Ashton
Caught: Lee Ashton
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A notorious burglar was reduced to tears in a court dock as he faced a jail term for stealing a £27,000 Audi which ended up in a dangerous police pursuit.

Lee Ashton, 20, of no fixed abode, is starting a 27-month sentence in a young offender’s institution after a court heard how he broke into a bungalow on Lever House Lane, Leyland, where a couple lived with their baby son.

After stealing a Calvin Klein wallet and laptop he stole the car keys and made his getaway in the Audi. Preston Crown Court heard he tried to use a stolen bank card to pay for fuel but was refused.

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He admitted burglary, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and without insurance, and breaching his Criminal Behaviour Order twice.

Karen Brooks, prosecuting, said: “Officers were on duty at 3pm on July 24 and became aware of the stolen Audi A4.

“They saw the vehicle on Stanifield Lane. They discreetly followed the vehicle. As it drove onto Golden Hill Lane it indicated right and then did a U-turn. The police vehicle followed after a short pause.

“He increased his speed and several vehicles were overtaken on the wrong side of road and they lost sight.

“The public turned onto Leyland Lane and afterwards the Audi reappeared from a side street and pulled out in front of the police vehicle. He reached 70mph in a 30mph zone in a heavily built up area.”

There was a short chase but eventually the vehicle came to a halt and Ashton and his accomplice, who has never been caught, ran away.

Defending, John Woodward said the only substantial mitigation is the fact he entered early guilty pleas.