POLICE stopped a car with a stinger and used dogs to find the driver, during a vehicle chase across two counties, a court has heard.
Matthew Ace, aged 27, of 22 Banwell Street, Morriston, pleaded guilty to taking a car from Aberaeron without the owner’s consent, and driving without third party insurance, when he appeared before Aberystwyth magistrates on Wednesday.
The court heard that owner Huw Evans had advertised the car on websites, with pictures showing the number plate, and had provided two interested parties with his address and postcode.
He was only given one key went he bought the car in March.
Ellie Morgan, prosecuting, said police were called after the owner of a Vauxhall Astra saw the car being driven away from his driveway and disappearing down the street, after hearing its alarm going off.
The car was spotted in Crymych, following a silver car reported to have attracted suspicion at the scene, and police units were deployed from Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
A stinger was set up at Penblewin roundabout, which caused the silver car to stop.
Miss Morgan said: “The silver car came to a stop on the roundabout and the driver ran off. The stolen vehicle carried on driving and went towards Whitland followed by the police with blue lights and sirens.
“It overtook a couple of vehicles, despite having flat tyres.”
The car eventually stopped and officers and dog handlers followed the driver into fields. They found him hiding among brambles, covered in mud.
Ace stated he had been asked to collect the car, and had been given the key and address, believing that he had the consent of the owner.
Craig Davies, defending, said: “We know that the vehicle in this case was taken with the key. There was a misunderstanding over the owner. The vehicle was returned with a limited amount of damage.”
Mr Davies added that his client, who works in the motor industry, believed he would be covered by traders’ insurance to drive the car, as he thought he had a legitimate reason to collect it.
Following a probation report, Ace was sentenced to an18 month community order with a 35 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 200 hours unpaid work. He was disqualified from driving for six months.
He was also ordered to pay £85 costs , £160 compensation, a £15 victim surcharge £60 and a court charge of £150.