Elderly man, 87, 'dragged' along road as thief stole his car in County Durham

Aiden Kenny was jailed for 40 months
-Credit: (Image: Northumbria Police)

An 87-year-old man sustained a bleed on the brain after he was "dragged" along a road as he tried to stop a thief stealing his car.

The pensioner had returned to his Bishop Auckland home and parked his car on March 16 this year when he saw thief Aiden Kenny jump in the vehicle and begin to drive away. In an effort to stop the theft, the man grabbed hold of the vehicle, but Kenny continued driving - causing the man to fall.

The man was then "dragged" along the road before he let go and sustained various serious injuries, including a bleed on the brain and a "degloved" thumb. The man went on to spend six days in hospital and has since been "robbed of his independence".

After stealing the car, Kenny went on to smash into a wall - writing the vehicle off - and was abusive to the police who arrived at the scene. He then made "obscene" comments about the officers' children before spitting in their faces.

On Tuesday, Kenny, of no fixed address, appeared at Durham Crown Court to be sentenced for aggravated vehicle taking, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, dangerous driving, and two counts of assaulting an emergency worker. The 22-year-old had pleaded guilty to the offences.

The court heard that the elderly victim parked outside of his home in Escomb and approached his door before hearing the car move away. Jon Harley, prosecuting, said: "He turned round and saw the defendant reversing his car down a side road, towards the main road with the passenger side door open."

The man then grabbed onto the driver side door while telling Kenny to "stop". But Kenny accelerated away, causing the man to "lose his footing and fall to the floor".

Mr Harley continued: "He was dragged by the car briefly before letting go. His next recollection is being in the ambulance as he was taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital."

As a result of the incident, the man sustained a bleed on the brain and a "degloved" thumb which required stitches. He also suffered grazing to his face and nose, as well as bruising to his legs and arms. The victim's daughter later heard of the incident and ran to his home, finding him covered in blood on the ground.

In a victim statement, the man, who had once enjoyed daily walks and gardening, said he used to be "fiercely independent" but had since suffered bouts of dizziness and "numerous medical complaints". He said his "get up and go has ended" and he no longer feels safe.

After driving off in the man's car, Kenny, who had taken drugs and drank alcohol, crashed into a wall less than two miles away, writing the vehicle off. He was then "aggressive" to two police officers who attended.

Mr Harley added: "He was aggressive, threatening to assault them and making obscene comments about their children. He continued to threaten to boot them in the face and spat in a police officers face. The spit also hit another PC." Kenny had 13 previous convictions, including for assaulting emergency workers and drink driving.

Jonathan Walker, defending, said Kenny had shown "contrition and remorse" in a pre-sentence report and wanted to give a "genuine and heartfelt apology" to the victim. He said: "It is tangible shame he feels...he is extremely grateful that members of [the victim's] family are present to hear his expression of remorse".

Sentencing Kenny, Judge Jo Kidd said the incident had "robbed" the victim of his independence and that his "quality of life has been significantly reduced by your actions". Kenny was jailed for 40 months and banned from driving for 44 months. He must sit and extended test if he wants his licence back.