POLICE who stopped a car and discovered it was stolen found the fingerprints of a mobile mechanic on the false number plate.

Blackburn magistrates heard Matthew Colin Trezise claimed he had provided the number plates to a man he believed was the true owner of the vehicle despite not being shown the registration document.

Trezise, 21, of Langdale Road, Padiham, was convicted after trial of handling stolen goods. He was made subject to a curfew between 9pm and 6am for 14 weeks and ordered to pay £360 costs.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the Renault Clio was stolen during a burglary on July 19 in Accrington. The car was stopped on August 9 and was found to have a false number plate.

Miss Allan said: “The defendant’s fingerprints were found on the plates and inquiries revealed he had obtained the plates on July 23, just four days after the burglary. He has assisted in the handling of the stolen vehicle by providing the false plates to hide the true identity of the car.”

Peter King, defending, said Trezise was not in the car when it was stopped and there was no fingerprint or DNA evidence to suggest he had ever been inside the vehicle.

“His defence was that he was not acting dishonestly,” said Mr King.