'Worst day of my life': Father's fury at being jailed for running burglars off the road as crooks walk free

2 December 2022, 15:32 | Updated: 2 December 2022, 15:48

Adam White and his wife Lindsay.
Adam White and his wife Lindsay. Picture: Picture: Alamy/ Channel 4/Twitter

By Will Taylor

A dad-of-two who was jailed for chasing two burglars and running them off the road has said his sentencing was the "worst day of my life" while the crooks got suspended sentences.

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Adam White blasted the punishments given to Taylor Benford and Ryan Paul, both 25, who were armed with a crowbar and bolt cutters when they tried to break into his family home in September 2019, as a "slap in the face".

His wife Lindsay, 34, and their two children, aged 8 and 10, were also in the house.

Taylor Benford and Ryan Paul, both 25, received suspended sentences and 200 hours of community service.
Taylor Benford and Ryan Paul, both 25, received suspended sentences and 200 hours of community service. Picture: Picture: Channel 4

They managed to make a speedy getaway on a motorbike but White chased after them in a Mercedes 4X4, eventually running them off the road close to his home in Leighton Buzzard.

They were left with serious injuries including a fractured skill, bleeding on the brain and broken bones.

The pair are now trying to sue Mr White's insurance for £1million.

White, 34, was sentenced to 22 months in prison in February for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Adam White on 24 Hours in Police Custody
Adam White on 24 Hours in Police Custody. Picture: Channel 4

Meanwhile, the burglars Benford and Paul, walked free from court with a suspended sentence.

"If they are fit enough to get in a car [again] and do that but not face prison time for their actions, it does make you feel like it is a slap in the face," Mr White said.

"Why doesn't everyone just be a criminal? It's sickening knowing there's no deterrent."

Benford and Paul did not comment when police interviewed them after the incident, while Mr White explained his version of events.

"I just told the truth and that's that," he told the Mail, expressing his regret at pursuing the pair.

"My actions were my actions. I shouldn't have left my house and I've had to pay the price for that."

And he spoke about how his wife Lindsay terminated her pregnancy because they worried that she could not raise the baby on her own if Mr White went to prison.

"That was the worst thing we had to do. Within a week and a half of the incident, we made a decision to have a termination," he said.

"We didn’t know what was happening or a charge or anything like that. What do you do?

"We made the most sensible decision we could at the time, it was incredibly hard... the pain she went through. I sat there with her the whole time.

"The two and a half years leading up to the court date we were in limbo and we didn’t know what to do."

He said being jailed at Luton Crown Court was the "worst day of my life" and he was crying as he was led out of the door.

"The first four or five days in prison I was so scared," he said.

Now out of jail, where he got a plastering qualification, he still has to wear an ankle tag and cannot leave his home between 7pm and 7am. He was also banned from driving until 2025, which has affected his work as an electrician.

The case aired on an episode of Channel 4 documentary series 24 Hours in Police Custody on Monday night, sparking an outpouring of sympathy from some viewers who were furious that he was convicted.

One viewer even set up a GoFundMe for Adam after he spent £50,000 of his family savings, credit cards and loans to pay for legal fees.

In just one day, the fundraiser racked up more than £91,000 – including a generous donation from one anonymous person of £15,000.

On Friday afternoon, the fundraiser stood at £151,000.

In an update on Twitter, Mr White said that any money donated from the evening of December 1 will be given to charity.

He said: “We are overwhelmed with the support that everyone has given us and cannot thank you all enough. We truly can’t believe how generous and thoughtful all our donors are.

“Every word of support has encouraged us to remain strong and has put a warmth in our hearts that we thought we lost three years ago.

“We feel so incredibly thankful for the money everyone has raised to help us get back to our losses. And thanks to all of you, we have. At this stage I would like to take this opportunity to say to anyone who wishes to donate to the page, we will be passing on any future funds from now to charity, to honour the loss of our baby.

“We will update further information on the page shortly. Again, thank you all so much, it is time for us to move forward and start afresh with the life you have all given us back.”