A Coventry man who spent ten years in prison for his part in a series of ruthless armed robberies is back behind bars after he was caught driving a stolen car.
And although Kevin Mullen was jailed for nine months, it will be up to the Parole Board to decide whether he is then freed after serving that sentence.
Mullen (34) of Deedmore Road, Wood End, Coventry, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to receiving a stolen VW Tiguan, driving while disqualified and having a bladed article, a machete.
And at the time of the offences in January, he was on licence from an indeterminate sentence, which he has since been recalled to prison to continue serving.
Prosecutor Ian Windridge said that at 8.20 in the morning on January 14, police officers became suspicious of a VW Tiguan they saw in Binton Road, Coventry, and began to follow it.
But the Tiguan, which had been stolen in a burglary four weeks earlier and was on false number plates, failed to stop until it reached Lapworth Road, where Mullen then got out and ran off.
He was chased through nearby gardens before being found and arrested hiding in the loft of a nearby house.
Meanwhile, the Tiguan was searched, and in the door pocket officers found a machete, said Mr Windridge.
He pointed out that at the time Mullen was on licence from and indeterminate sentence imposed at Coventry Crown Court in 2007 for conspiracy to rob and conspiracy to commit burglaries, of which he had been ordered to serve a minimum of ten years.
That had involved Mullen and two others carrying out a series of armed raids at shops, post offices and stores in Coventry and Warwickshire, including the Sainsbury’s supermarket in Warwick.
The gang had also broken into an exclusive home in south Warwickshire in the early hours of the morning and terrorised a mother who disturbed them when she came downstairs with her baby in her arms.
They chased her upstairs, where she locked herself in a bedroom with the baby and her other child, aged four, and they made threats to force her to hand over her phone before escaping with £40,000 worth of property.
Mr Windridge added that in 2015, while still serving that sentence, Mullen had been given a further 12-month sentence for conveying a prohibited item, a phone, into prison.
Seamran Sidhu, defending, said Mullen had been released from his long sentence in October 2016, since when he had obtained full-time work, making use of the qualifications he had gained in prison, and was doing well.
She said Mullen had originally got into the vehicle as a passenger, but his friend, who was the driver, was intoxicated, so he had offered to drive his friend home.
He then saw the police car behind him, and got out and ran off, said Miss Sidhu, who added that the machete had already been in the car when he got in, and he had had no intention of using it.
As a result of the offence, Mullen has been recalled to prison to continue serving his indeterminate sentence – and it will be up to the Parole Board to decide when he is released.
Judge Sylvia de Bertodano commented: “What was he doing on the 14th of January? It seems so pointless.
“Whatever I sentence him to today, he’s going to have to go before the Parole Board again before he’s released. Any sentence I pass has to start from today.”
And she told Mullen: “It seems so unfortunate that, having done so well in prison, and then done well on the outside, you end up in this position.
“You are in a position where you have an indeterminate sentence, so if you do anything wrong, you end up back before the Parole Board.
“I would normally say you will serve half the sentence and then be released, but you will then be in front of the Parole Board.
“You have a very dangerous offence in your past, and that is why you should not be going anywhere near weapons. But there is no evidence to connect you with the burglary itself or that you had any intention to use the weapon,” she added.