Notorious Scarborough criminal Dennis Reynolds jailed again, this time for taking and crashing a man's 'pride and joy' classic car

Notorious Scarborough criminal Dennis Reynolds has been jailed again after taking a man’s cherished classic car and then smashing it into a row of parked vehicles, causing £18,000 damage.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 10:40 am
Updated Saturday, 27th March 2021, 10:44 am

Neighbours in Holbeck Hill heard a “loud bang” in the early hours of the morning after the vehicle had been taken from outside the man’s home, York Crown Court heard.

They called police after discovering a red Saab which had collided with a Volkswagen.

“The engine of the Saab was still running, the keys were still in the ignition, both front doors were open, and the air bags had been deployed,” said prosecutor Matthew Collins.

Dennis Reynolds
Dennis Reynolds

There was no sign of the driver or his passenger, however, as Reynolds, 39, and his mate - 25-year-old Jamie Palliser - had done a runner.

“A neighbour had seen two men staggering away from the scene shortly after the loud bang,” added Mr Collins.

Police found “multiple” other damaged cars along the road, including two Volkswagen vehicles and a Kia Niro which was “completely” written off.

The total damage caused was about £18,000. The Saab had also crashed into a brick wall, causing £300 damage.

Officers took DNA samples from the Saab’s air bags and via a check of the national database found that Reynolds had been the driver and Palliser the front-seat passenger. They were duly arrested.

Mr Collins said the owner of the Saab had dropped his car keys in the road, near the vehicle, and it was found by Reynolds and his cohort before they took the car in the early hours of April 18 last year.

Reynolds, of Pavilion Terrace, ultimately admitted he had taken the car and also pleaded guilty to driving without a licence or insurance, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.

He had already been committed for sentence for two counts of theft and shoplifting and two counts of possessing a Class C drug.

These offences, which occurred in January this year, included stealing cash and bank cards from a vehicle in Hackness Drive on January 16 and stealing almost £1,000 of power tools from another address on the same street after breaking into a van.

The previous day, he was caught shoplifting at the Proudfoots store in Eastfield, where he stole two bottles of Southern Comfort, and in the same week he was caught with illegal prescription drugs at a property in Aberdeen Walk just eight days after being released from a previous prison sentence.

Palliser admitted allowing himself to be carried in a vehicle taken without the owner’s consent. Both men appeared for sentence via video link on Friday after being recalled to prison.

Mr Collins said the Saab was “effectively written off” and was later crushed. It had been the owner’s “pride and joy” and had private number plates.

Reynolds had a staggering 70 previous convictions for some 158 offences, many for theft and other acquisitive crime such as handling stolen goods, along with cannabis possession.

In 2019, he was jailed for a racially aggravated attack in which he and a mate attacked a taxi office with a machete and a lump hammer, smashing the windows.

Palliser, of Westway, Eastfield, also had a long criminal record for offences including violence, burglary and being a passenger in a stolen vehicle.

The court heard that Reynolds and Palliser had teamed up before their latest offences, having both been jailed in connection with a burglary in 2018 for which Palliser was jailed for four years. They were both on prison licence when they took the classic car.

Reynolds had received no less than three short jail sentences since the car crash in spring 2020.

Kevin Blount, for Reynolds, said his client had a drug and alcohol problem.

Emily Calman, for Palliser, said her client had been in custody since his arrest in June last year and had already served the equivalent of an 18-month jail sentence.

Recorder Andrew Dallas blasted Reynolds and Palliser for their shocking records and said the taking of the classic car was a “serious offence of its type”.

“The car itself was a classic car much-loved by its owner,” he added.

“He had had it for a number of years and spent a lot of money on it (but now) it’s completely lost to him. You wrote off two other expensive cars that were parked there, causing great loss and inconvenience to the owners and their insurers. I’m quite satisfied that both of you are persistent offenders.”

Reynolds, who was condemned for the “sheer persistence” of his offending, was jailed for 10 months and given a 14-month driving ban.

Palliser was handed a one-month jail sentence, but Mr Dallas said that because he had already been recalled to prison, it would be down to the Parole Board as to whether he was released back out on licence upon completion of the new prison term.