A 21-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for more than three years for his role in a spate of offences including raids on homes in which the intruders targeted high-value vehicles.
Bradford man Arsalaan Farooq pleaded guilty to a series of crimes committed between February and May last year.
Yesterday, a judge heard how he was linked to some of the offences by forensic evidence, including DNA and fingerprints.
The vehicle had been stolen from a house in Halifax.
Bradford Crown Court heard that Farooq admitted a charge of aggravated vehicle taking.
The admission came after his DNA was found on a Ribena bottle left in the Audi.
A few weeks later, police investigating an attempted burglary at another home, which was also in the Halifax area, discovered that black sticky tape had been used to try to disguise the distinctive registration plate on a Volkswagen Golf.
The court heard that Farooq’s fingerprint was found on the tape.
Prosecutor Andrea Parnham said in April last year, burglars stole an Audi SQ5 and an Audi Q7 from outside a house in Skipton. On the same night, a Volkswagen Golf was taken from a property in Sutton-in-Craven, near Keighley.
She said all three cars were later seen travelling in convoy on the A59 heading towards Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire.
The Audi Q7 was later found abandoned on that road.
Miss Parnham said police officers saw the Audi SQ5 and Volkswagen Golf travelling in excess of 100mph on the A59 before the Audi was later found “dumped” near Beckwithshaw.
The Volkswagen Golf, containing Farooq and 20-year-old accomplice Zane Bashir, was seen doing more than 80mph before the driver lost control.
The vehicle ended up in a ditch and came to rest on its side, the court heard.
Miss Parnham said neither of the two defendants would admit to being the driver at the time of the crash.
She said they had subsequently pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods in relation to that car.
Farooq, who had previous convictions for robbery and theft, went on to handle another stolen vehicle in May while he was already on bail for the earlier offences, the court was told during the hearing.
Yesterday, his barrister Kate Bisset submitted that Farooq had “ended up with the wrong people following the wrong path.”
He had earlier experienced difficulties with his education, she added.
She said it obvious that the two young defendants in the dock were not the people who had carried out the significant planning that would have been required for the offences.
Barrister Stephen Uttley for Bashir, of Ashfield Avenue, Shipley, urged Judge Colin Burn to give him a suspended custodial sentence.
In trying to persuade the judge not to jail him, he pointed to Bashir’s limited record and involvement.
But Judge Burn said he had to pass immediate custodial sentences on both men.
The judge noted that they had both admitted their involvement in the most serious of the burglaries at the house in Skipton.
That burglary was carried out while the occupants of the property were asleep.
Farooq admitted offences of burglary, aggravated vehicle taking, attempt burglary, theft and handling stolen goods.
He was sentenced to a total prison term of three years and nine months.
Bashir, who pleaded guilty to burglary, theft and handling stolen goods, was sentenced to 27 months in a young offenders institution.