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Dereham burglar who stole Mercedes and assaulted police officer jailed for more than three years

PUBLISHED: 16:27 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:22 18 September 2018

Gary Franks was jailed for three years and eight months for four counts: burglary, dangerous driving, handling stolen goods, assaulting a police officer. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Gary Franks was jailed for three years and eight months for four counts: burglary, dangerous driving, handling stolen goods, assaulting a police officer. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A persistent burglar head butted a police officer and knocked him to the floor in an attempt to resist arrest, a Norwich court heard.

Gary Franks, 31, appeared in court on Tuesday charged with burglary, assaulting a police officer, theft of a vehicle, and dangerous driving, in connection with a Mercedes and a VW Transporter stolen in Dereham earlier this summer.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, told the court Franks entered a property on Carl Close, in Toftwood, Dereham on Sunday, July 22, 2018, and stole the keys to a Mercedes C220, valued at £15,000, and a wallet containing cash.

He said: “He put himself forward as a suspect by telling people in the pub he knew where [the car] was.”

My Youell added that after a member of the public phoned in the vehicle on July 23, a McDonalds cup and receipt inside the car provided DNA evidence and meant police could trace CCTV of Franks in the vehicle.

A second address in Wright Drive in Scarning was subsequently burgled on Sunday, 12 August, where a VW Transporter van, thought to be valued at £15-20,000, cash, a Vivienne Westwood watch and a pair of red Nike trainers were stolen.

Franks was arrested on Sunday, August 19, and charged with offences including burglary, attempted burglary, assaulting a police officer, theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving, and breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

Mr Youell told the court the assault occurred when an officer attempted to arrest Franks.

He said: “He explained he was there to arrest him, [but] before he had the chance, [Franks] lifted the officer’s arms in the air and head butted him in the chest.

“The officer fell to the floor and the defendant made his escape.”

Franks appeared at Norwich Crown Court, where he represented himself after Neil Guest, mitigating, informed the court his client was seeking new representation, following a break in proceedings.

Franks admitted burglary, dangerous driving, assault with intent and handling stolen goods, as the crown decided not to proceed with the other charges.

He was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison and given a 34-month driving ban.

Judge Bate, presiding, said: “There is a clear public interest in protecting officers from assault.”

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