THE police watchdog is to investigate after it emerged a stolen Range Rover which killed a pedestrian in North Yorkshire may have been involved in two earlier incidents.

Douglas Scott Robertson, 27, was killed in Stokesley just after noon on Saturday. The silver vehicle hit a lamppost before ploughing through a wall and hitting Mr Robertson, fatally injuring him.

Now North Yorkshire Police has referred the handling of the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), after reviewing the circumstances leading up to the collision.

The Range Rover was stolen between 4am and 5am that morning. In a statement, a police spokeswoman said it was clear that a vehicle matching the description of the Range Rover was involved in two earlier incidents that were reported to the force on Saturday morning.

She said: “One was at a service station near the Darlington border and another in Stokesley.

“As soon as it became apparent that these previous incidents were connected to the vehicle involved in the Stokesley collision, as well as the sighting of the suspect vehicle by a North Yorkshire Police patrol prior to the collision, and following reference to the IPCC’s statutory guidance, North Yorkshire Police immediately referred the incident to the IPCC.”

Yesterday Delton O’Neill, 18, from Sowerby Crecent, Stokesley, and a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Northallerton Magistrates Court in connection with the fatal incident.

The 15-year-old faced charges of causing death by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving without a licence and driving without insurance. O’Neill was charged with aggravated vehicle taking, allowing himself to be carried in a vehicle that had been taken. Neither defendant entered a plea.

The magistrates granted the teenager bail, but the prosecution team announced they would appeal against the decision. He will remain in custody until the appeal is heard by a crown court judge today.

A third man aged 23, arrested on Monday night in connection with the incident remained in police custody.

A 48-year-old man, from Brompton-on-Swale, is due in court on February 8 charged with obstructing investigating officers.