Doncaster binge-drinker locked up after crime spree

A binge-drinking South Yorkshire man who went on a crime spree that included dangerous driving, burglary, assault, harassment and criminal damage has been locked up, Sheffield Crown Court has heard.

Thursday, 30th July 2020, 5:21 pm

Adam Gaffney's offending began when he threw a glass through the window of a takeaway where his girlfriend worked, causing £500 of damage, on October 25, last year, prosecutor Beverley Wright said.

He also hurled "particularly nasty" racial abuse at the takeaway owner, which caused "significant distress."

Between Christmas 2019 and January 2010, Gaffney bombarded his girlfriend with text messages and threatened to post an indecent picture of them on social media.

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On December 30, he burgled an address in Rossington, which belonged to a friend of his girlfriend's parents, while she was at home with her young children, and took alcohol from the fridge.

In the early hours of January 5, he stole a £700 combi van from JJ Tyres, in Mexborough, and led police on an 18-mile chase though surrounding villages, while he was twice over the drink-drive limit.

After he was arrested, Gaffney spat at an officer in a "most disgusting assault in the current climate.”

The court heard he has 15 previous convictions for 32 offences, including dangerous driving, robbery and burglary.

Chris Brewin, mitigating, said Gaffney's offending was "something of a spree" caused by binge-drinking and immaturity.

He said Gaffney responded "quite well" to custody since his arrest in January, had undergone an alcohol awareness course and planned to continue it upon his release.

But when Mr Brewin said Gaffney's motivation for the dangerous driving was "because he wanted to kill himself," Judge Graham Reeds QC said: "I think I prefer the explanation that he was trying to get away from the police."

Gaffney, 22, of Grays Court, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to criminal damage, racially aggravated threats, harassment without violence, burglary, theft, dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol and without insurance.

Judge Reeds jailed him for two years and six months, and ordered a three year driving ban from the time of his release.

Restraining orders, banning him from contacting the takeaway owner, the girl's parents, and their friend, were also imposed.

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