Ashfield test-drive thief is jailed for 12 weeks

AN ASHFIELD dad who took a car for a test-drive and never returned has been jailed for theft.

Darren Pitman went to Lynx Motors in Nottingham Road, Ripley, on 5th November last year and asked if he could try out a £5,000 Ford Focus.

“He was given the keys to the car and he never returned,” Julie Downes, prosecuting, told magistrates at Chesterfield on Monday.

Police waited outside Pitman’s home on 24th February and saw him arrive with his girlfriend. He handed over the keys to the Focus and was arrested.

“He said he had purchased the vehicle three days earlier. He saw an ad, met the seller, took it for a test-drive and paid cash for it,” said Mrs Downes.

When he was shown CCTV footage recorded at Lynx Motors he denied it was him on the film.

Pitman (39) of Park Street, Kirkby, admitted theft. He had previous convictions for 33 offences including theft and disorder.

Presiding magistrate David Summers locked him up for 12 weeks.

Pitman’s had earlier told the court that he bumped the car’s rear number plate during the test-drive and then he “panicked”.

He said:”I only used it for three days and then it was parked on my driveway. I should have taken it back - it was a silly thing to do and I apologise”.