A SCHOOLTEACHER’S boyfriend was paid £50 to drive a £9,000 stolen car because he was “desperate for money”.

Steven Chester, 47, was stopped in Caerphilly after Gwent Police put out an alert to officers that a black Ford Fiesta had just been pinched.

The defendant was at the wheel of the vehicle when it was pulled over on the A468 on April 23, prosecutor Peter Donnison said.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the car was returned undamaged to its owner.

Chester, of Highbury Place, Ely, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and driving without insurance.


Mr Donnison said the defendant had 19 previous convictions for 47 offences which included burglary, drug trafficking and production of cannabis.

Rebecca Griffiths, representing Chester, said: “His partner is a schoolteacher and is a great support for him.

“The vehicle was returned to the owner undamaged.

“This was not sophisticated offending and the defendant played a limited function.

“He said to me he will never trouble the court again.

“This has been a very sobering shock for him.”

His barrister added how the defendant had been hired to drive the car for £50 because he was “desperate for the money”.

Chester has, the court heard, “struggled with addiction issues” and provided part-time care for his mother.

The judge, Recorder Dyfed Llion Thomas, jailed him for 16 weeks, suspended for 18 months.

Chester was made the subject of an electronically monitored curfew for four months between 8pm and 8am.

The defendant was also ordered to pay a £128 victim surcharge.