Burglar Alex Gunn writes off Canterbury mother's car in 110mph police chase
by Paul Hooper
Serial burglar Alex Gunn broke into the home of a Sturry
family and snatched a handbag in front of a startled
Then, as terrified Joanne Goodban phoned for help, the
25-year-old raider escaped in her car.
The stolen Vauxhall Astra was spotted by CCTV cameras in
Canterbury and Gunn (pictured left) then led police on a
110mph pursuit - ending with him wrecking the car.
Divorcee Mrs Goodban later told police: "I am utterly
distraught about someone coming into my house. I now feel scared to
leave my own home. I feel frightened in case he ever comes
Gunn's break-in at the house in Hudson Close came in May this
year - just four weeks after he was released from a 38-month jail
sentence for three similar burglaries.
Canterbury Crown Court heard Gunn, who lived in Harrow, had
travelled to Margate to sell drugs and wanted a car to return to
Although he admitted aggravated vehicle taking, Gunn denied
burglary - claiming someone called Jermaine carried out the
But a jury did not believe him – and he has now been jailed for
six years and three months.
Mother Joanne Goodban's
car was left a write-off by burglar Alex Gunn
Denzil Pugh, prosecuting, told the court Mrs Goodban
- who has three children aged 17, eight and seven - had
gone to bed on May 25.
"She was woken up at about four o'clock the following morning by
creaking coming from outside her bedroom door. She originally
thought it was her daughter, but was swiftly disabused of that when
Gunn walked into the bedroom.
"He started rummaging through her property and then grabbed one
of her bags and made off. She got up and noticed windows downstairs
had been opened.
"She then went into the garden to call her ex-husband and then
the police. But as she was doing that she heard the sound of her
own car being started and realised the burglar had taken the car
keys from the bag. He then sped off."
The prosecutor added the car's registration number
triggered police cameras 10 minutes later in Broad Oak and officers
followed him around Rheims Way roundabout as it headed towards the
Gunn, who was alone in the car, sped off through a red
traffic light sign and onto the A2 at speeds of 110mph.
But when he tried to take the Dunkirk turn-off, he lost control
of the stolen car and smashed it into a hedge - leaving £3,000
vehicle a write-off.
Burglar Alex Gunn sped
off in Joanna Goodban's Vauxhall Astra
Mr Pugh added: "Having been extricated from the vehicle
suffering from cuts and scrapes, he was interviewed but became
belligerent and tried to cross examine the police officer."
Anthony Heaton-Armstrong, defending, said: "Clearly this
defendant in committing these types of offences doesn't care what
effect it has on his victims.
"But he went off the rails at a very vulnerable age and was
treated cruelly – that's not an excuse – but people who are treated
without care are apt to turn into uncaring adults."
Judge Michael O’Sullivan told Gunn: "Mrs Goodban’s 999 call was
played to the jury and it was quite clear that this had been a
terrifying experience for her.
"Not only that, but you took her car and wrecked it. At your
trial you showed a manner of arrogance when you gave your
Gunn was also banned from driving for four years.
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