A BURGLAR who stole a car and led police on a chase at twice the speed limit through a North Yorkshire village has been jailed for five years.

Paul Marcus Young appeared by video link from prison, where he has been held since his arrest in August, after he stole a van from a house in Scalby Road, Scarborough, and drove at 60mph on 30mph roads to avoid police.

Young, 33, appeared at York Crown Court on Tuesday, where he admitted burglary, theft of a van, making off from a filling station without payment and dangerous driving.

The court heard Young gained entry to the house in the night through an insecure side door, stealing the keys to the Peugeot van - a self-employed painter and decorator - while the owner slept.

When the owner awoke just before 7am and realised his van had been stolen, he phoned police, and an officer on foot patrol spotted Young walking away from the van, parked in nearby Scalby village, at just after 7am. When she tried to stop Young, he ran back to the van and drove away at speed.

Another traffic officer began following the van as it sped through traffic lights, swerved in and out of oncoming traffic and eventually lost control of the vehicle, badly damaging front nearside wheel on a kerb. Young jumped out of the vehicle and tried to run, but was caught and arrested following a short foot chase, the court heard.

The court also heard Young had put £30 worth of diesel into the van at a nearby filling station, then driven away without paying.

In police interview, he admitted all allegations except burglary, claiming he found the keys on the driveway of the house, but changed his plea to guilty before the court on Tuesday.

Taryn Turner, for Young, said he had moved to Scarborough for a job, which he had lost, with a girlfriend who had since left him, and had hoped to return to his family home in the Birmingham area. She said Young accepted he was a 'third-strike' offender, and understood an immediate prison sentence was likely.

Recorder of York Paul Batty QC said Young had "a formidable criminal record", with 23 previous convictions, and said had a trial gone ahead, he could have expected a starting point of five years in prison solely for the burglary.

Young was sentenced to four years for burglary, six months for theft of the van and three months for making off without payment - to be served concurrently - and 12 months for dangerous driving, to be served consecutively.