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Banned motorist paid £50 to pick up car left with key inside at retail park

By John Scott | Oldbury | Crime | Published:

A cash-strapped man who ignored a driving ban to earn some money was starting a 12-month jail sentence today.

An aerial view showing the car park where Richard Edwards collected the car

Richard Edwards had been disqualified for dangerous driving and given a 16-month jail term suspended for two years after leading pursuing police on a "substantial" chase, prosecutor Mr John Evans told Wolverhampton Crown Court.

But 16 months later he could not resist the temptation of pocketing £50 to drive away a 54-plate Hyundai left in the Carphone Warehouse car park at Oldbury Green Retail Park with a key in the ignition on November 17. The offer was made in a phone call, it was said.

The 32-year-old defendant said he was travelling along the Black Country Route near Wednesbury when a BMW driver made an offensive hand gesture prompting him to accelerate, a judge heard.

Wolverhampton Crown Court

Edwards lost control when the other motorist clipped the rear of the Hyundai and the car crashed into the central reservation and a lamppost.

Mr Evans commented: "How truthful that account is I cannot say because there were no witnesses."

Mr David Swinnerton, defending, observed: "Many people would be suspicious of the offer made to him but he was desperate for cash.

"He then put his foot down after the BMW driver made an offensive hand gesture in his direction."

Edwards, from the Meeting House, Wednesbury, admitted driving while disqualified, breaching a suspended prison sentence and having no car insurance.

He was jailed for a year after Judge Dean Kershaw activated nine months of the suspended sentence with a further three months for driving when banned.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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