Man stole woman’s car with her 89-year-old blind mother sitting inside

A man has been jailed for more than eight years for stealing a woman’s car while her blind 89-year-old mother was still inside the vehicle.

David Stephenson, 51, was jailed this week for eight years and six months after being found guilty of kidnap, theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving and driving without a licence.

Greater Manchester Police received a call from the daughter of an 89-year-old woman who told them “Someone’s took my car and my mum.”

Police said she had left the engine running to keep the heating on in the car to keep her elderly mother warm for 10 minutes while she went to the shops.

Stephenson, of no fixed abode, was “not fazed by the fact a vulnerable elderly woman was in the passenger seat” and got into the car and drove off, police said.

In a video released by police, Stephenson can be seen driving on the wrong side of the road through the streets of Ashton-under-Lyne in January as he attempts to get away from pursuing officers.

Police eventually managed to bring the vehicle to a stop, detain Stephenson, and reunite the woman with her daughter.

Greater Manchester Police released an emotional emergency phone call from the daughter.

Crying while on the phone, the woman told the police: “I’ve gone to the shop to pick some slippers up for my mum and I’ve come back and my car’s gone with my mum.

“Someone’s took my car and my mum. She’s disabled and she’s blind and she’s got dementia.

“My mum’s in the car. Oh my god, what will they do with my mum?”

Chief Inspector Matt Jackson said: “This must have been really terrifying for the woman who was in the passenger seat when the car got stolen.

“She is blind and has dementia, she wouldn’t have known what was going on – I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through her mind.

“I am proud of my officers, whose fast thinking and ability to remain calm in any given situation meant we were able to bring the vehicle to a safe stop, and swiftly arrest Stephenson.

“Their response meant that the woman was safely reunited with her daughter. It could have ended very differently if we didn’t work the way we did to get her back safe.”