Northern Ireland

Three brothers jailed for stealing car in Belfast

Belfast Crown Court
Image caption The three brothers and the mother-of-two appeared at Belfast Crown Court

Three brothers who have over 200 criminal convictions have been jailed for almost four years for stealing a car, jumping seven red lights and nearly knocking down a pensioner.

The offence involving Peter Gordon, 30, and his brothers Jonathan, 27, and Anthony, 20, happened in February 2013.

Shauneen Thompson, 23, Glandore Avenue, Belfast, was also charged in connection with the incident.

All four pleaded guilty to a single charge of aggravated vehicle taking.

Belfast Crown Court heard that Peter Gordon, from Antrim Road, Town Parks, Belfast, Jonathan Gordon, c/o HMP Maghaberry, Anthony Gordon, of Verner Street, Belfast, and mother-of-two Shauneen Thompson from Glandore Avenue, Belfast took the Chrysler Voyager car and drove it on a motorway and around streets in Belfast.

A prosecuting lawyer told Judge Donna McColgan QC at Belfast Crown Court that the car was stolen from its owner in east Belfast around 04:00 GMT on 7 February while he was staying at a nephew's flat off the Albertbridge Road.

He alerted police and shortly before 09:00 GMT the car was spotted by PSNI officers on the M2.

"Police pulled alongside the vehicle and officers indicated for the vehicle to stop but it refused,'' the prosecution lawyer said.

The court heard the stolen car sped off in the direction of Belfast city centre with police in pursuit, jumping a red light at North Queen Street.

'Rammed'

The Chrysler Voyager then went round a roundabout at Carlisle Circus the wrong way before driving into Denmark Street, onto the Shankill Road and into Lanark Way, almost striking and an elderly woman on a pedestrian crossing.

The prosecution barrister said: "Police were following and tried to stop the vehicle in a cul-de-sac, but the police vehicle was rammed.''

He told the court the car jumped a further six red traffic lights as it headed up the Antrim Road and then onto the Sandyknowes junction on the M2, before driving to Dundrod, Templepatrick and finally into the Twinbrook area of west Belfast.

He told the judge that officers called in the support of the PSNI's helicopter who directed police on the ground into the Summerhill Drive area where all four passengers "alighted through the driver's door''.

The four suspects were later detained, with the three brothers arrested in a field and Ms Thompson was arrested in an alleyway.

The court heard that at one point during the pursuit the front seat passenger exchanged places with the driver which made it impossible for police to say who was driving the vehicle.

None of the four arrested would say who was driving the car, said the prosecuting lawyer.

Mr Purvis said the Chrysler Voyager was examined and the damage caused amounted to £6,026.

Judge McColgan QC sentenced Jonathan Gordon to 20 months in prison with a further 20 on licence after his release.

The judge said he had 97 previous convictions, adding that he had "minimised his level of responsibility in the incident and blamed others'' for stealing the car while at a house party.

Previous convictions

Ms Thompson, who said she was drunk and did not know any of the defendants at the time of the car theft, was given 18 months on probation.

Peter Gordon, who had 101 previous convictions, was sentenced to 15 months in custody and 15 months on licence.

The court heard his younger brother Anthony Gordon had started using cannabis at the age of 10, was expelled from school aged 13 and had nine previous convictions.

The judge sentenced him to 12 months in custody with a further 12 months on licence.

Judge McColgan QC also activated a number of outstanding suspended sentences against Anthony Gordon which were to run concurrent with his 12 months in custody.

As they were being handcuffed in the dock, the three brothers were rebuked by the judge for their behaviour at the hearing and previous court appearances.

The judge said: "The behaviour of the accused reflects their blatant disregard for the court and any proceedings of the criminal justice system.''

Jonathan Gordon replied: "So what.''