A TEENAGER who went on the run has now been jailed for three-and-a-half years for his part in a £300,000 car-stealing ring.

Jamie Golding, aged 18, whose family lives in Craydene Road, Slade Green, was part of a gang which preyed mainly on unsuspecting motorists who left their car keys in the ignition when buying petrol or using cashpoints at petrol stations.

The gang, which included Darren Gallagher, aged 18, of Slade Gardens, Slade Green; Wayne Cousins, aged 29, of Spruce Gardens, Swanley; Jimmy Marney, aged 18, of Craydene Road, Slade Green and Aaron Eastwood, aged 22, of Watermeadow Close, Slade Green, stole nearly £300,000 worth of cars and property in a five-month spree which spanned London and three home counties.

Items worth £60,000 have never been recovered.

The other members of the gang pleaded guilty in June and were all jailed.

Sentencing them at Maidstone Crown Court, Judge Adele Williams described the thefts as “daring, relentless and brazen”.

The others had been held in custody until their sentencing but Golding had successfully applied to a High Court judge for bail and then went on the run.

He was arrested after the other members of the gang had been sentenced.

At Canterbury Crown Court, Golding pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, burglary and failing to surrender to his bail.

He was sentenced to three years for conspiracy, three years concurrent for burglary and six months consecutive for failing to surrender to bail.

Judge Williams commended three of the police officers in the case, Detective Constables Bob Haines and Jim Wood from Kent police’s serious crime squad and Detective Constable Paul Goddard from the Met Police for their “thorough and excellent investigation”.

Afterwards DC Haines told News Shopper: “It was a cracking result. We got them all off the streets and it was nice to get a judge’s commendation for our work.” l Last October Golding received a ban order for being a member of a vicious gang which had terrorised the public for two years.