Passenger of a stolen car jailed after being identified by his t-shirt

A passenger who was in a stolen vehicle while it was driven dangerously through the streets was linked to the vehicle through his two-tone t-shirt and is now behind bars.

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The Citroen motor had been stolen in a burglary and on June 13 was spotted overtaking and mounting a pavement in South Shields, with Reece Hepplewhite as a passenger.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the car, which was pursued by police, was eventually dumped and Hepplewhite, who was on two suspended prison sentences and has motoring convictions on his record, was seen to be wearing a two-tone top as he fled.

Newcastle Crown CourtNewcastle Crown Court
Newcastle Crown Court
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Prosecutor Marc Atkins told the court: “Police noticed it on a chair in a local cafe and saw the defendant, topless, leaning against the counter.

“He was arrested and said ‘I’m going back to prison for this.”

Hepplewhite, 22, of St. Mark’s Way, South Shields, admitted aggravated vehicle taking by allowing himself to be carried.

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The court heard he has 25 convictions on his record.

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Judge Robert Adams sentenced him to 16 months behind bars with a 12 month road ban after his release.

The judge said the vehicle was driven dangerously over a “relatively short” period and told Hepplewhite: “you were wearing a distinctive t-shirt which was seen on the back of a chair in a local cafe.

“You were found leaning against the counter and arrested.”