Arrested thug carries out vile act in back of police van after chase

Disgusting Ben Woodhouse has been jailed
Disgusting Ben Woodhouse has been jailed -Credit:West Yorkshire Police

A balaclava-clad thug - who burgled a family home before leading officers on a dramatic police chase in stolen vehicles through - Halifax wiped his snot on the inside of a police van after his arrest.

Disgusting Ben Woodhouse, 20, was seen with three other men at the property on January 25 this year. Bradford Crown Court heard on Thursday CCTV captured him getting out of a red hatchback car from the passenger seat and running down a footpath close to the house.

Prosecutor Daniel Ingham said: "He was wearing a balaclava and carrying a crow bar. A window pane was removed to gain entry, causing the window to smash."

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The court heard cupboards and drawers were opened in the untidy search, and entry was also gained to the garage. Mr Ingham said Woodhouse, of Moins Close, Halifax, got away with the property's CCTV hard drive, watch boxes with nothing inside and an empty briefcase.

Mr Ingham said: "The key safe was removed and access was attempted but it was abandoned...The burglary triggered an alarm and the police attended and the defendant was identified using blood found on the safe."

The court heard that just two months later on March 22, officers received information about a stolen BMW car in Grove Edge. Mr Ingham said: "It was a housing estate and children were observed to be out playing. It has a 20mph speed limit and the area is described as being tight.

"The defendant was seen driving a vehicle matching the description of the stolen vehicle. Officers tried to cut him off and he proceeded to do a three-point turn to change direction and escape. The blue lights were activated."

The court heard Woodhouse - who was disqualified from driving at the time - led officers on a chase before he was arrested. Mr Ingham said: "When being arrested and in the police vehicle he was noted to be aggressive, standing on the bench and kicking the door.

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court -Credit:Yorkshire Live

"He spat on the door and walls. He shouted, 'Watch for the big greeny I have in my mouth.' He put his fingers in his nostril and wiped it onto the cage door."

The court heard that less than a month later on April 7, Woodhouse led officers on another chase through Halifax - this time in a Vauxhall Corsa, reaching speeds of 69mph in a 30mph zone. It was said the Corsa was recovered, but the BMW was not. Mr Ingham said Woodhouse went on to plead guilty to two counts of dangerous driving, two counts of driving without insurance, damaging property in relation to the police vehicle, two counts of driving a car in accordance with a licence and two counts of failing to stop.

He fell to be sentenced for those offences, as well as the burglary, on Thursday. He had a previous offence of dangerous driving on his criminal record from 2022, for which he was given a suspended sentence and a driving disqualification.

Mitigating, Safter Salam, said the new dad's first experience of custody in HMP Doncaster is "one he won't forget." The barrister said: "He was becoming a dad and it gave him anxiety and led to him taking black market drugs including pregabalin...His parents sit here today. They don't condone his behaviour. They have another child who is at university and is of good character.

"They don't condone this behaviour and that is why he was asked to leave the family home. I'm told by his parents he now resides with them and can return to the family home when these proceedings have concluded."

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Mr Salam said Woodhouse has abstained from substance misuse and became a dad in December last year. He told the Honorary Recorder of Bradford, His Honour Judge Rose: "Prison has petrified him. He will not be troubling the courts again and will be there for his child but he understands the offences he has committed are such that you can't suspended any prison sentence."

Judge Rose jailed Woodhouse for 41 months, and made him the subject of a driving disqualification of 50 months, at the end of which he will have to take an extended retest before being allowed back on the roads.

He said: "I am prepared to accept you have misused prescription drugs, and I am prepared to accept your experience in custody has impacted on you, but I accept you were given a chance in January 2022 when this court sentenced you for dangerous driving for nine months suspended for 18 months and you were given a rehabilitation activity requirement. So this court - some may say mercifully and leniently - gave you the opportunity, and gave you a rehabilitation course and you chose to throw that in the face - not in the court, but of the public...

"Your first experience of custody is going to be prolonged by quite a margin. The public is entitled to be protected from your criminality and the dangers you pose to them."