A CRIMINAL was identified from DNA found on a beer bottle in a stolen car.

Ashley Keyte denied he had stolen the car from where it was parked outside a house in Inkberrow after car key burglary but admitted allowing himself to be carried in the vehicle.

The 35-year-old of Queen Street, Cheltenham but formerly of Pershore pleaded guilty to allowing himself to be carried in the Mini Cooper between January 3 and January 6 this year. The car was later found on another street in the same village but with false plates.

The car had been stolen during a car key burglary but was recovered from High House Drive in Inkberrow on January 15 this year.

John Brotherton, prosecuting, said the defendant's DNA was recovered from a beer bottle inside the car and he was arrested on March 24 this year.

Mr Brotherton said: "He said he gets in lots of different cars and couldn't recall this one in particular."

Mr Brotherton described the defendant as having 'an extensive history before the courts' with 42 convictions for 70 offences on his record including for taking cars without the owner's consent, theft and other matters of dishonesty.

He received a four week prison sentence at Worcester on June 26 last year for a TWOC in October 2018.

The court heard how Keyte had spent 69 days on a qualifying curfew, the equivalent of a 35 day prison sentence and had pleaded guilty at the earliest available opportunity and was therefore entitled to a third discount in the length of any custodial sentence imposed. He was released from prison on May 6 and placed on an electronically monitored curfew between 9pm and 7am.

Judge Nicholas Cole said it was 'unusual' for a car to be found in the same small village where it was stolen and he added: "Whoever stole it must have been remarkably foolish."

He took the defendant's previous convictions and the fact he was on post-sentence supervision at the time as aggravating features.

The judge added: "I'm told that after this offence you committed a similar offence in relation to a motorcycle for which you received a custodial sentence.

"You need to understand you cannot go around taking vehicles and using them as you wish without their consent."

He sentenced Keyte to two months in jail. However, because of the time he spent on a qualifying curfew he was granted his liberty and able to walk free from court.

The judge told him: "You are entitled to immediate release."

The judge did not ban him from driving as Keyte is already subject to a two year disqualification for another matter.