Hartlepool man caught by police in stolen car he 'bought 20 minutes before'
A Hartlepool man was caught by police driving a car that had been stolen a couple of weeks earlier – and claimed he had bought it less than half an hour before.
Kieran Hall, 21, of Galsworthy Road, was pulled over on April 30 when officers recognised the stolen Ford Fiesta he was driving.
He pleaded guilty to receiving stolen goods at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Prosecutor Mahmood Awan said: “The injured party in this case is the registered keeper of a Ford Fiesta which he had left locked outside his address.
“He has looked outside and noted that the vehicle was missing.”
Car spotted by police officer on A689 more than two weeks later
About two and a half weeks later police noticed it driving along the A689 slip road at Billingham about 10.10pm, the court heard.
“They found the defendant driving it along with three other individuals.
“Defendant informed officers he had just purchased the vehicle 20 minutes earlier.”
Hall was already handed a suspended sentence at an earlier hearing for driving uninsured in connection with the police stop, the court heard.
His defence solicitor told the court that while he did not know the vehicle had been stolen, it had not been as expensive as it might have been.
“In pleading guilty to this offence what he is effectively accepting is that as an experienced car trader the value of the vehicle as he paid for it was lower than what he might have expected.
“If he had discovered that the vehicle was in fact stolen he would have gone back and remonstrated with the person from whom the vehicle was purchased.
“He is unfortunately undergoing treatment presently for a cancerous tumour that has been found at the base of his spine.
“In the coming months he is going to have some potentially unpleasant life experiences and is going to be required at the doctors and things like that.”
Hall received a conditional discharge and must pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.