A 25-year-old who drove a stolen Land Rover to a garage, filled it with petrol then made off without paying has been spared a jail sentence.

Nathan Bowell of Cherry Tree Court, Oxford, appeared at Oxford Crown Court yesterday after admitting handling stolen goods and making off without payment.

Bowell had already been handed a community order by Oxford magistrates for eight separate counts of fraud by false representation - using a stolen debt card to make card payments at McColl newsagents and McDonalds.

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At the crown court yesterday, prosecutor Jane Brady said the Land Rover Bowell used, valued at about £45,000, was stolen from a driveway in Appleton overnight between November 2 and 3.

The following day Bowell was spotted driving the stolen car before heading to the Shell garage at the Peartree roundabout.

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Here, the court heard, he put in £40 worth of petrol before driving off without paying.

When he was caught and arrested he went on to admit separate counts of using bank cards to fraudulently buy goods.

Sentencing, Judge Ian Pringle QC gave Bowell a 14 month sentence suspended for two years for having the stolen car and ordered him to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.

For making off without payment he was given a 12-month conditional discharge.