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999 crash burglar gets four years jail

A MARSTON Green man has been sentenced to four years in a young offenders’ institution after ploughing a van into an ambulance while trying to escape from police.

A MARSTON Green man has been sentenced to four years in a young offenders’ institution after ploughing a van into an ambulance while trying to escape from police.

Daniel Lawlor, 20, of Alcott Road, was part of an armed-burglary gang who targeted local homes.

Paramedic Emma Baxter was left fighting for her life following the smash, which took place in Erdington earlier this year

Lawlor admitted conspiracy to burgle, as well as a separate charge of burglary and dangerous driving.

Judge Amjad Nawaz gave him a consecutive sentence of 18 months for the conspiracy charge, 15 for dangerous driving and another 15 for burglary.

Kevin Hegarty, prosecuting, told Birmingham Crown Court that Lawlor and others had broken into an address in Kingstanding on March 31. But neighbours heard the disturbance and called the police.

While racing away from the scene, Lawlor’s vehicle collided with an ambulance. Miss Baxter, and fellow paramedic Lea Griffiths, had to be cut from the wreckage.

Miss Baxter was rushed to intensive care and was initially left wheelchair-bound. She also suffered memory loss and damage to the pelvis.

Margaret Russell, defending, said Lawlor was easily led and not terribly bright and that the events of March 31 would stay with him for a very long time.

Both the staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service have now returned to work and were in court to see the outcome.

Barry Thurston, from WMAS, said: “Emma and Lea are public servants who were carrying out their everyday role when they were seriously injured by the recklessness of this individual’s driving.

“Staff join this emergency service to help people who are injured or in distress but do not expect to be involved in a crash and suffer potentially life threatening injuries.”

*Four others were sentenced on Tuesday. Thomas Sidwell, described by the judge as the hub of the conspiracy, received a ten year prison sentence.

Sidwell, 24, of Neville Road, Shirley, had previously admitted conspiracy to burgle and was convicted, following a trial, of three charges of robbery.

In one instance, he had ram-raided a Shirley boutique and stolen £180,000 worth of designer clothes.

Thomas Freeman, 21, of Greenwood Avenue and Lee Ralph, 23, of Anstey Grove, both Acocks Green, were jailed for 15 months after admitting the conspiracy charge.

Angela Pender, 45, also of Neville Road was sentenced to a 12 month community order, ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work and pay £150 costs after pleading guilty to handling stolen goods.

 

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