A woman who was a passenger in a Fiat Punto stolen from a used car dealership on Tyneside was fined £80 after trying to flee from police.
The Punto was one of two vehicles that were stolen from Station Garage in East Boldon early on June 16 last year, according to a report by the Sunderland Echo, with the other being a Ford Fiesta.
But Toni Peel, of Ribble Road, Hylton Red House, Sunderland, said she’d been picked up by the Punto driver after the theft and had no idea it was stolen.
South Tyneside magistrates were told that the dealership’s manager got an alert on his mobile that the theft was taking place and called police, having seen on CCTV which cars had been taken.
The Punto was seen on the A1018 near Fulwell and officers pursued it.
Leanne Duffy, prosecuting, said officers were on the A1018 at 4.32am when one of the stolen vehicles drove past them at speed.
‘They set off in pursuit and the vehicle failed to stop. When it did, the defendant was a passenger and ran.
‘The police gave chase, and she was detained and arrested.’
Peel, 31, wasn’t in court but admitted being carried in a stolen vehicle, with her solicitor Paul McAlindon telling JPs she had some cautions but no convictions, reported the Echo.
It quoted McAlindon as saying: ‘The vehicles were not taken by Ms Peel. Police came upon one of the vehicles. She tells me that she was picked up after the event and not long after that the police came.
‘CCTV clearly shows that there’s only one person [at Station Garage] and that wasn’t Ms Peel.’
He added: ‘It was a very stupid thing for her to do. She got into a car without knowing its origins.’
As well as the fine, Peel was ordered to pay £85 costs plus a £34 victim surcharge.
It isn’t known what happened to the Fiesta. The Punto driver was detained but wasn’t charged, said the Echo.
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