Scooter rider caught by DNA spray is jailed

Connor Walker.
Connor Walker.

A dangerous rider who was convicted through the first use in West Yorkshire of a DNA tagging spray has been jailed after committing another road related crime.

Connor Walker, 18, from South Elmsall, was locked up for 33 months after pleading guilty to dangerous driving in relation to an incident in which cars were attacked and he fled police officers on a scooter.

His pillion passenger, Niall Pretty, 19, from Pontefract, was sentenced to ten months in custody after pleading guilty to damage to a vehicle, possession of a bladed article and taking a vehicle without consent.

Walker also pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, breach of a criminal behaviour order and breach of a suspended sentence.

The breach related to a suspended sentence Walker received last year for an offence of dangerous driving on May 28 in South Elmsall.

Walker and Pretty were arrested following an incident on January 18 in which a car was damaged in Pontefract and a Land Rover Discovery was damaged in the Xscape car park. One of the scooters had been stolen the day before in South Elmsall.

A police helicopter was also used in the pursuit.

The pair were arrested on Minsthorpe Lane, South Elsmall, after abandoning the scooter.

Walker became the first person in West Yorkshire to be tagged with SelectaDNA during his May 28 offence. The spray, every can of which contains a unique chemical signature, marked Walker and the suspect vehicle, indisputably linking him to the offence.

Sergeant Paul Skidmore of the Patrol Crime Team, said: “The lawless and utterly stupid behaviour demonstrated by Walker and Pretty was dangerous in the extreme and we are very pleased they have both received custodial sentences.”

Inspector Paul Sullivan of Wakefield East, said: “We have worked very hard to tackle anti-social off road riding over the past 12 months, including deploying SelectaDNA, which can definitively link those sprayed with it to the offence they have committed.

“Anyone involved in this type of behaviour should know that no matter if you wear a headscarf, helmet or balaclava, your anonymity can’t be guaranteed.”