Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 16:56 UK

Naked Ugg boot ram-raider jailed


David Ball told police he had no recollection of the offence

A man who ram-raided a supermarket clad only in a sheet and a pair of Ugg boots has been jailed for four years.

David Ball, 32, from Tyseley, Birmingham, was drunk when he raided the supermarket and stole cigarettes.

He then led police on a high-speed car chase through Warwickshire before being arrested after the incident in April.

Ball was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court for aggravated vehicle taking, burglary, driving with excess alcohol and other driving offences.

As well as being sentenced to four years in jail, he was also given an additional 51-week jail term from an earlier suspended sentence.

'Little recollection'

Ball was two-and-half times over the drink-driving limit when he was arrested on 16 April and told police he had no recollection of the offence and had been asleep in the back of the car.

However, when shown the CCTV footage, he said he remembered the crime and pleaded guilty. And this guilty plea was taken into consideration for the sentencing.

The judge said Ball had "50 to 60" convictions for theft which dated back to 1990 and had spent a number of "short spells" in jail.

He was arrested after crashing into two parked cars in Birmingham, following a police chase. He pleaded guilty at Solihull Magistrates' Court the next day.

The court heard how an "extremely drunk" Ball had got up in the middle of the night and stolen his girlfriend Tricia Dowling's Ugg boots and Renault Clio before the crime.

The prosecution told the court Ball had "very little recollection" of the night.

The court was shown CCTV footage of him repeatedly ram-raiding a Co-op in Balsall Common in the West Midlands.

Baby due

His defence barrister Tom Kenning admitted it was "an extremely unusual offence" which seemed "to make no sense".

He added his client had demonstrated "extraordinary behaviour".

Mr Kenning said the death of Ball's grandmother had badly affected him and contributed to him committing crimes, when he had just started to get his life together.

He also told the judge Ball's girlfriend was expecting their baby and this should be considered in the sentencing.

Three years of his sentence was for burglary and he was given a 12-month sentence for aggravated vehicle taking.

Ball, who was chased by police doing 80mph on a road with a 40mph speed limit, was also disqualified from driving for three years.

As Ball was led from the dock, he gave a thumbs-up sign to family and friends who had come to the court to support him.

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