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Jailed: Dagenham car thief who left three with life-changing injuries in hit-and-run crash

PUBLISHED: 14:38 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 14:38 13 December 2017

Chelmsford Crown Court Picture: Google Maps

Chelmsford Crown Court Picture: Google Maps

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A Dagenham car thief who caused a crash that left three people with life-changing injuries as he fled the scene of a burglary has been jailed for seven years.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how Kevin Reed, 31, of Grafton Road, had broken into a house in Chelmsford in the early hours of October 31 last year and stole a number of items, including a Vauxhall Astra which he used as a getaway car.

As he drove towards the A12, he entered a roundabout at speed and struck another car which was travelling around the roundabout.

The Vauxhall Corsa, which had two passengers in it, was hit with such force it flipped over twice before coming to rest on the roundabout.

The driver’s injuries included a broken wrist, ligament and kidney damage, whiplash and a blood clot on his right bicep. He also suffered a spinal fracture and a bleed on the brain.

His front passenger suffered a broken nose, cheekbone, ribs and sternum and pelvic brusing, while the rear passenger spent 10 weeks in a wheelchair after two vertebrae, ribs and one ankle were fractured and the other ankle was broken.

Reed, meanwhile, fled the scene.

Almost six months later, he was interviewed at Grays police station and charged with burglary, theft and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was convicted of the charges on Tuesday, December 5 following a two day trial and sentenced at the same court on Friday.

Reed, who was also convicted of common assault, breach of a non-molestation order, handling stolen goods, dangerous driving, driving under the influence of cocaine, driving under the influence of cannabis, driving with no insurance, driving without a licence and failing to surrender relating to two other separate incidents, was handed a seven and a half year driving ban in addition to his prison term.

Det Con Claire Hicks said: “Kevin Reed has little regard for other people’s property or their safety and welfare. The three people in the Astra all suffered catastrophic and life-changing injuries – one of them has had to give up their job as they can no longer stand for long periods.

“The impact of the crash was such that all three could have been killed. Reed’s actions were not only reckless but his response to the crash, running away from the scene, was cowardly.”

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