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Dad says chasing off two burglars lost him £60k job, freedom and his unborn baby

A dad who chased down two burglars regrets the “moment of madness” that ruined his life and doomed him to hell in jail.

Adam White’s decision to chase the intruders in his car led to him losing his £60,000 data centre job, his freedom and, worst of all, his unborn baby.

The 34-year-old, who spent £50,000 on legal fees, said: “I will regret what I did for the rest of my life. It was a moment of ­madness. Thank God no one died. I have paid a high price.”

He lost control of his car and would-be house-breakers, Taylor Benford and Ryan Paul, ended up in hospital after coming off their stolen motorbike.

In January, Adam was convicted at Luton Crown Court of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and ­sentenced to 22 months.

Adam, who had no previous convictions, spoke to The Sunday People about his nightmare in prison, where he lost more than two stone and was called a “civilian” by other inmates.

He said: “The first week was so hard, I couldn’t stop crying.”

Adam tried to write to wife Lindsay but couldn’t because his “eyes were so full of tears.

He added: “I got through it by thinking about getting home to my kids. I had two other people in my cell and I felt cockroaches scurrying over my bed covers at night. We were all sharing one toilet, it was degrading. I hated it.

“My worst moment was when a cellmates went crazy and smashed the place up. He ripped off the toilet seat and threw it at the guards. He also threw the TV at them.

“I was sat in the corner of the cell thinking he was going to attack me. He also started self-harming, slicing his arms with a razor blade. "I also saw fights inside. I was stood at my cell door and saw two guys swinging at each other down the landing. There was a kettle on the floor. They had put fabric softener in the kettle and boiled it.

“When the fabric softener boils it goes gloopy and sticks to people like napalm. I was locked up alongside drug dealers and murderers – some of the other inmates called me a ‘civilian’ and said I didn’t belong in jail.”

Adam was held at HMP Bedford for two weeks then moved to HMP The Mount in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire.

His experience led him to blast the prison system as “absolutely shocking”. He said: “I’ve never seen so many drugs in my life as in prison.

“People were walking around like zombies because they were taking this drug called spice. They put me in a cell with someone who smoked spice. It made me sick. I had to change cells.”

In September, three years after the fateful night, Adam was released on a home detention curfew to return to Lindsay, 34, and their two kids in Leighton Buzzard, Beds.

The case had been so stressful that a month after the incident Lindsay felt compelled to abort their baby, their first together.

Adam said: “It was sickening having to make the decision to abort the baby. I wish we had a little brother or sister to show the other kids.”

He believes judge Steven Evans jailed him to set an example to anyone else thinking of taking the law into their own hands.

Adam recalled the night in September 2019 when he saw Benford and Paul on his home CCTV trying to break in. He grabbed the keys to his Mercedes 4x4 and chased the pair.

He said: “They hit a Mercedes and I hit a truck. It all happened within three minutes.

“My engine was on fire, alarms were going off and the airbag was in my face. I couldn’t open the driver’s side door so I had to kick it open. I ran to a woman’s house and asked her to call the police and my wife.”

Arrested at the scene, police body camera footage showed Adam asking an officer: “Am I in trouble? I’m not going to prison for this am I?”

Benford fractured several bones in the crash, while Paul suffered a brain bleed. At Luton Crown Court, the pair, both 25, who have a string of previous convictions between them, were given suspended sentences and 200 hours of community service.

This week Adam took the brave decision to appear on the Channel 4 show 24 Hours in Police Custody, ­despite fearing a public backlash.

Instead, a stranger was so moved by Adam and his family’s plight that he launched a GoFundMe page to help them which has raised over £160,000.

Adam says: “We are overwhelmed by the support we have had through the GoFundMe.

“This clears the loan for our barrister fees and it means the kids can have a Christmas this year. And we will give some of the donations to the charity Sands – The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society.”

The incident left Adam and funeral director Lindsay in dire financial straits. Now Benford and Paul are apparently trying to sue Adam through his insurance company, allegedly for up to £1million, over their injuries.

Lindsay still feels the impact of that night. She said: “Having the abortion sent me into a massive depression.

“I still feel incredibly guilty. I blame the burglars. They forced Adam and I into making that decision.”

Adam, who has a new a job as an electrician, said: “If someone comes to my house again I’m not going to chase them.”

A police spokesman said: “This episode is an important reminder that people must not take the law into their own hands.

The best thing to do when a crime is happening is to call 999.”

Taylor Benford and Ryan Paul, both 25, received suspended sentences ( Image: Channel4)

Police bodycam footage of Adam White after the incident in September 2019 (Image: Channel 4)

The damage caused after the Mercedes struck the motorbike( Image: The Garden)

Adam's partner Lindsay felt compelled to abort their first baby after the incident ( Image: ©Stan Kujawa)



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