A FORMER used car salesman who tried to pass on a stolen £33,000 Audi TT has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Jamie McHale, 25, had pleaded guilty to handling a motor car and assisting in its disposal at an earlier hearing, and was sentenced at York Crown Court.

Recorder Philip Kramer gave him an nine-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, together with an order that he be supervised by the probation service.

The court heard that McHale, of Tang Hall Lane, did not at first know the car was stolen, and only offered to help dispose of it once he realised and began to worry about his fingerprints being found on it.

Prosecutor Sobia Ahmed said the car was taken in March last year.

Although police immediately tracked the vehicle to Malton Road, where it was seen heading towards Monks Cross, it was never recovered.

McHale was arrested days after the theft, and when his mobile phone was examined investigators found text messages about the car.

For McHale, Chloe Fairley said he had since moved away from the motor trade, found work as a joiner’s mate, and was helping to care for his elderly grandfather.

Sentencing him, Judge Kramer said the serious offence was aggravated by the fact McHale had used his insider knowledge of the motor trade to try to “spirit away” the stolen car.

McHale was also ordered to pay £600 towards court costs.