A SERIAL thief who sparked a high-speed police chase across Sheffield has been jailed for two years.
Ray Junior Boston, aged 25, narrowly avoided crashing into a children’s playground as South Yorkshire Police officers pursued his stolen Land Rover.
Police in the Gleadless area began to tail Boston after recognising the 4x4 as one reported stolen from a house the previous night.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Boston, who did not have a valid driving licence, reached speeds of 67mph in 30mph zones, drove on the wrong side of the road, and caused oncoming traffic to mount the pavement to avoid a collision as he tried to shake off police.
Just a month earlier, Boston had used his girlfriend’s father’s work van to steal motorbikes from the outside of homes in Dunstan and Whittington.
All the offences were committed while he was on bail for going equipped for theft from a Rotherham metal merchants.
Megan Rhys, prosecuting, said: “Police in Sheffield pursued the defendant when they saw him driving the vehicle, at which point he increased his speed and made a sharp right swerving around parked cars.
“At that point the vehicle was travelling towards a moving tram. The defendant swerved to avoid it, then mounted a grass verge.
“He moved on to a carriageway and started overtaking vehicles, then travelled down grass banking off the road towards a children’s play area in Dyke Vale Road. Fortunately no-one was in the play area at the time.”
The impact caused the Land Rover’s back window to explode. Boston tried to flee on foot, but gave up and surrendered.
He told police he had acted as a lookout while a friend stole the vehicle and agreed to take it to Norton to receive payment for it.
Boston, who was living with his girlfriend in Stoney Middleton, Hope Valley, was convicted of two counts of taking a motor vehicle, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, and dangerous driving.