A CAR thief from Wrexham who made off with a high-performance car has been jailed for three years and 10 months after a court heard he was clocking up his 219th conviction.

Serial offender Ioan McKenzie tried to sell off a car he stole in a burglary after calling at a property in Coedpoeth but the house owner became suspicious and challenged him.

He gave chase and called police who arrested McKenzie who had run into a field near the A483, Mold Crown Court heard.

McKenzie, who was under the influence of “some sort of substance”, was taken to the police station where he was later given bail.

Yet eight days later the banned driver made off with a Mercedes parked on a driveway in Cefn-y-Bedd.

The vehicle was later found crashed and abandoned after it had hit a railway bridge in Brynteg.

McKenzie was picked up on the homeowner’s CCTV retrieving items from a shed and driving off, knocking out a fence post in the process.

McKenzie, 41, of Coed Aben, Caia Park, admitted taking a vehicle without consent, two counts of driving while disqualified, two counts of burglary, an attempted burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance.

Defence barrister Mark Connor said when McKenzie was released from prison last April he had told a probation officer he intended to stay out of trouble and seek help from the Elms drug team in Wrexham.

But he was soon offending again and his counsel admitted: “He has only got himself to blame.

"He has been taking hard drugs since 1995 when he lost his mother to Motor Neurone Disease, but he can’t keep using that as an excuse.

“He does want to break the vicious circle of drug use.”

Judge Niclas Parry told McKenzie: “You had no intention of stopping your offending.

“You were given a community order for dishonesty offences and that very night you were out committing burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.

“It is now 219 offences, including countless burglaries.”