A MAN who went on a crime spree across Solihull and Birmingham has been jailed.
West Midlands Police launched a man hunt after Lee Martin kidnapped and stabbed a woman he knew before stealing her car in a Solihull cemetery last September just hours after he was released from prison on licence.
She managed to escape and her physical injuries didn’t threaten her life.
The police said it is thought he sneaked into her unlocked car while she was visiting a family grave.
Three days after the kidnapping, he stole a car from a heavily pregnant woman in Kings Heath under the guise of offering to park it for her.
He then went on to steal two more cars and a pick up truck and attempted to steal others.
When firearms officers and dog handlers arrested Lee Martin after he’d been on the run for nine days.
He was charged with four robberies, four counts of possession of a knife, assault, common assault, assault with intent to rob, aggravated vehicle taking and property damage, criminal damage and attempted robbery.
He appeared at Birmingham Crown Court on November 3 and pleaded guilty to all charges but not guilty to kidnap and wounding.
Martin was later found guilty of kidnap and wounding and has been sentenced to 18 years in jail.
“This has been one of the most challenging cases in the force’s history,” said Detective Chief Inspector Dave Sproson, from force CID.
“But that’s not because Lee is a master criminal. Far from it, Lee Martin is a weak individual who preyed on lone women and used intimidation to bully his way into people’s houses who he knew he could overpower due to their vulnerabilities and would then stay with them to avoid capture.
“He reacted to opportunities that were presented to him and he has nothing to show for this other that a lengthy custodial sentence.
“His desperation to avoid capture was high and this enabled him to be ruthless when he approached people.
“He would show excessive force to prevent being captured.
“I can’t stress enough how the community really came together to support us in capturing Martin.
“Thank you to everyone who shared our appeals, called us with information and made changes to their security arrangements to stop him.”