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Man found with stun gun after stealing laughing gas jailed for more than two years

PUBLISHED: 16:49 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 21:17 20 February 2018

Nicholas Winter has been jailed for 120 weeks for stealing nitrous oxide, dangerous driving and possession of a stun gun and lock knife. Picture: Norfolk Police

Nicholas Winter has been jailed for 120 weeks for stealing nitrous oxide, dangerous driving and possession of a stun gun and lock knife. Picture: Norfolk Police

Norfolk Police

One member of a gang who stole nitrous oxide canisters meant for “life saving” surgery has been jailed for more than two years.

Five months after the burglary at a farm supplies store in Norwich, Nicholas Winter was arrested with a stun gun, lock knife and face mask in his ‘man bag’ after leading police on a pursuit through Bradwell in a stolen Range Rover.

Prosecutor Jamie Sawyer told Norwich Crown Court that on 3.30am on July 26 last year, police were called to an alarm activation at a compound on Fir Covert Road.

“This premises stores canisters of nitrous oxide for use by vets and medical facilities,” he said.

“CCTV showed three people climbing over the security fence into the works compound and passing cylinders over the fence to people outside. Officers attended and found the defendant nearby. It appears this was targeted. He acted as part of a gang.”

On December 14 at around 8.30am, an ANPR hit on a grey Range Rover which had been reported stolen led police to Winter, with three others as his passengers. He had been sentenced for driving without insurance or a licence just two days earlier.

In a bid to escape officers on Gapton Hall Road, Winter crashed into one police car and accelerated to 50mph in the 30mph limit.

He was described as “forcing his way through traffic” and “straddling” the middle of the road.

Police deployed a stinger and Winter hit the brakes hard, causing a pursuing car to collide with him.

“Following a police chase the stun gun and lock knife were found inside a small man bag he was carrying at the time,” added Mr Sawyer.

Rob Pollington, mitigating, said Winter, 20, was remorseful and had “borrowed” the Range Rover.

“He understand this is unacceptable behaviour,” he said. “He understands it is not big and not clever.

“He has a history of poor decision making and an immature attitude. He has shown signs of someone who is habitually self harming due to anxiety and depression. The knife was carried for his own protection. That is not acceptable.”

Judge Katharine Moore told Winter: “You have a history of offending during the currency of court orders.

“The burglary was targeted. You and two others had gone there because you wanted to steal the canisters of nitrous oxide stored there. It was required for life saving surgery. You wanted it for a rave.

“On December 14 you were wanted by police and set out to avoid them in a police chase. In your possession were two weapons, in a bag with a mask that could be worn to conceal your face. It is difficult to envisage a lawful purpose for you having that.

“You seem to have an entrenched pattern of anti-social behaviour. You are unwilling or unable to cooperate with authorities seeking to help you.

Winter, who has 14 convictions for 25 previous offences, was jailed for a total of 120 weeks for burglary, dangerous driving, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of a bladed article and failing to surrender.

He was also banned from driving for 164 weeks for driving without insurance or a licence, and will have to take an extended driving test to reclaim his licence.

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