Jailed carjacker showed victims “no mercy”

PUBLISHED: 08:27 18 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:28 18 October 2018

Wally Smith was sentenced for five years in total on Friday. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Wally Smith was sentenced for five years in total on Friday. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Archant

A carjacking victim who was threatened with a knife outside a Felsted pub said he would never forget the ordeal and still had flashbacks to the evening, a court heard.

It was described by the defence as a “night of madness”, starting with Wally Smith holding a knife to the victim’s stomach and ended with Smith and an unknown accomplice ditching a second stolen car in a White Roding farm yard after smashing through the gates.

On Friday, Smith, 32, was sentenced to a total of five years imprisonment for a string of crimes that took place on March 15.

He was sentenced for two counts of robbery, an attempted robbery, possession of an offensive weapon in public, and criminal damage.

He was also sentenced for a separate offence of handling stolen goods following a house burglary.

Prosecuting, Peter Gaire described how Smith, of Gypsy Lane, Little Dunmow, and his accomplice had stolen the first car at around 8pm just after the victim had parked at the Swan pub in Felsted.

The BMW was then found abandoned after the pair had collided with another vehicle, on a roundabout near the Birchanger services. The duo then attempted to steal a Mercedes whilst the driver was waiting for the traffic lights, at the same roundabout, with one of the men attempting to open the driver’s door.

Gaire described how a third victim saw Smith and his associate running down the middle of the slip road of the M11 at about 8.30pm.

One of the men opened the door of a Vauxhall Aguila and said “get out, get out” before the pair forced the victim out and drove away at “considerable speed”.

A police officer who saw what had happened ran over and tried to smash the passenger windows before their pair drove off.

Pursued by police, Smith and his associate drove into gates belonging to Bretts Farm in White Roding, and then into the farm yard, before ditching the car. Gaire said the gates had been “smashed open”.

Defending, Minal Raj said Smith, who is one of 15 children, had grown up in an “environment of criminality”.

She said in the past Smith had made a “concerted effort to turn his life around” and the death of a brother and sister within a month had “derailed things for him”. She added that he was “deeply sorry for what he had done”.

Sentencing, Judge Charles Gratwicke said: “Anyone listening to the trail of offences committed by you on March 15 can’t feel anything but horror and revulsion about the way in particular you treated the drivers in those vehicles. You showed them no mercy at all.”

Smith had previously pleaded guilty to the charges.

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