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Thief stole BMW and Range Rover in two test drives within an hour


A car thief has been jailed after colliding a BMW into a motorcyclist then threatening to “shank” a car salesman as he stole a Range Rover during two test drive incidents in the space of an hour.

Judge Shaun Smith QC jailed John Nevin (25), of Wild Street, Derby, for two-and-a-half years after describing a spate of offending on April 29 and May 6 after Derby Crown Court was told of his “impulsive, unsophisticated and ill-thought-out offences”.

Derbyshire Live reported that Sarah Slater, prosecuting, told the hearing how Nevin had stolen the premium saloon from Target Cars, Spondon, within an hour of making threats to a salesman at Morris Car Sales Ltd, Spondon, before making off in the luxury SUV.

Slater said that a staff member at Target Cars thought Nevin was a genuine buyer “because of the questions he asked” and so moved it out of an awkward parking space ready for a test drive.

As he got out to move from the driver’s seat, however, the defendant got in and drove off at speed colliding with a motorcyclist, she told the court.

The BMW was recovered damaged the following day.

Just an hour after his raid on Target Cars, Nevin entered Morris Car Sales, and asked to test drive the Range Rover.

In this instance the business’ owner went out on the test drive with Nevin before realising that he intended to steal the vehicle.

Describing Nevin’s actions, Slater said that he did a u-turn and stopped the car before demanding “get out and give me the key”.

At this point an accomplice, who had been positioned at the side of the road, tried to drag the salesman out of the Range Rover while the defendant said: “I will shank you”.

The hearing at Derby Crown Court heard that the Range Rover was never recovered.

The hearing heard that Nevin tried to burgle Home Bargains in Long Eaton and also stole from a petrol station in Willington on April 29.

Slater said Nevin was arrested at Royal Derby Hospital after going there himself for help with his mental health issues, on May 14.

Nicola Hunter, mitigating on behalf of Nevin, who pleaded guilty to robbery, aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified, attempted burglary and theft, said her client had grown up in care and had turned to drugs and alcohol to “self-medicate” following a number of deaths in his family.

She said there was “not a great deal of planning” involved in the offences, pointing out that Nevin had made no attempt to disguise himself.

Judge Shaun Smith QC said: “These were impulsive, unsophisticated and ill-thought-out offences.

“Somebody who made that threat and who behaved in the way you did must have had an effect on a man whose business is to take people out in cars on test drives.”

As well as his jail sentence, Nevin was disqualified Nevin from driving for 27 months.

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