A professional burglar has been jailed for more than seven years after his pregnant passenger suffered near-fatal injuries in a Brighouse crash as he tried to flee police.
Bradford Crown Court heard today (MON) how severely injured Stacey Brown, who was about 14 weeks pregnant, had to be cut free by the emergency services after Patrick Craggs crashed a stolen Mazda Premacy into a Ford Kuga car being driven by a female motorist along Elland Road, Brighouse.
Miss Brown is understood to have given birth to a healthy child earlier this year, but a judge said she was lucky not to lose her life and that of her unborn baby at the time of the collision in August last year.
Craggs’ dangerous driving left Miss Brown with serious injuries to her ribs, kidney and shoulder and she also suffered a severed aorta - the largest artery in the human body.
The court heard that 50-year-old Craggs, of Clare Street, Halifax, was also trapped by his legs in the Mazda and he had subsequently undergone surgery for a replacement hip and still had problems with his knees.
The driver of the Ford Kuga was also treated in hospital, but she escaped with minor bruising and soreness.
Prosecutor Nick Adlington said the Mazda vehicle had been taken during a night-time break-in by Craggs in Elland and he had been driving Miss Brown to Huddersfield after police turned up at his home.
After stopping for a cigarette break at the Cromwell Bottom nature reserve a police car turned up and Craggs told her that he had to get away because the car was stolen.
The Mazda was driven up a bank as it swerved round the police vehicle before driving off at speed towards the main road where it collided with the Ford Kuga.
Mr Adlington said after hitting the Kuga the Mazda crossed the carriageway, left the road and hit a drystone wall.
The court heard that Craggs had served lengthy prison sentences in the past for house burglaries and a few months after the crash he broke into another home.
For that burglary in November last year he was jailed for five years by a judge in December, but today Recorder Andrew Haslam sentenced him to a consecutive term of seven years and two months.
Craggs, who the judge described as a professional burglar, pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary, two of stealing cars and one of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Barrister Clare Walsh, for Craggs, said the injuries he suffered in the crash meant he was no longer the man he once was and he wanted to apologise to Miss Brown.
Craggs, was banned from driving for a total of more than six years, and he will also have to take an extended retest at the end of that disqualification.