A getaway driver for a gang of burglars who were chased through South Yorkshire streets by one of their victims has been told by top judges he deserved every day of his jail term.
Marlon Guy Grossett was caught after the raiders disturbed the occupants of a house in Stocksbridge while trying to steal their high-value cars.
The 29-year-old, of Barnsley Road, Sheffield, was jailed for five years after admitting burglary and theft at Sheffield Crown Court last July.
He challenged his punishment at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers arguing it was far too tough.
But his complaints were thrown out by three senior judges, who said the term was ‘justified’ in light of his ‘crucial’ role in the raid.
The court heard the gang targeted the house, on Belmont Drive, Stocksbridge, in the early hours of June 11, 2014 – planning to break in and steal cars from the drive.
The occupants, a couple, were sleeping, but awoke when they heard one of the car engines start.
When they ran outside to confront the burglars, one of them struck the woman in the face before getting into her Golf GTI with an accomplice and driving away.
The male occupant, whose BMW was left in the drive, bravely got into his car and drove off after the Golf.
But he lost the stolen car after being blocked by Grossett – who had been waiting nearby in a getaway car and had been in text message contact with the others.
The Golf, worth £28,000, was never seen again and the other men involved in the raid have not been traced by police.
Jeremy Hill-Baker QC, for Grossett, argued his jail term was ‘over the top’ because the crown court judge wrongly assessed the crime as being among the most serious burglaries.
But, dismissing his appeal, Mrs Justice Andrews said the sentence was ‘not excessive’.
Sitting with Mr Justice Cooke and Lord Justice Bean, she added: “This was undoubtedly a serious offence.
“It involved what must have been a significant degree of planning by a group of criminals targeting high-value cars.
“Grossett played a central role in the offences – his involvement did not stop at driving to the scene of the crime, his role was crucial to them getting away.
“In those circumstances, a sentence of five years cannot be described as excessive.”