A man who is waiting for a kidney transplant has been spared jail after stealing an Audi worth up to £40,000, more than 100 miles away from his home.

Gary Morgan, 40, took the Audi RS3 from an address in Derby on May 30, keeping the car for a week before abandoning it on a farm.

The court hearing at Sessions House in Preston heard how Morgan, of Cotton Court, Colne, caused around £5,000 worth of damage to the vehicle which was owned by a Mr Iqbal.

Prosecuting the case, Mr Peter Barr said: “Mr Iqbal was at home and heard the engine of his car starting even though he had the keys.

“He ran outside to see his car being driven off.”

The car was seen being driven through the Peak District and other areas of the country before ending up on the M6, coming into Lancashire.

Mr Barr told how the father-of-four treated the car as his own, driving it around the county and filling it up at a petrol station, paying with his own credit card.

The car was later found abandoned on the back of a lorry for removal with more than £5,000 damage, however Mr Iqbal did not have insurance to cover the repairs.

Defending, Fiona Clancy, said that Morgan would be ‘vulnerable’ if he went to custody due to a kidney condition which has already seen him have a kidney transplant just under 20 years ago.

Morgan is currently waiting to hear from a friend as to whether they can donate a kidney for him due to his continuing illness which requires him to have dialysis.

Ms Clancy said: “His condition would make him vulnerable in custody.

“He has four children, all boys, three of which are under 16 who rely on him for care.”

Morgan, who has 21 previous convictions, has been in jail before for offences but has had to be released early as the facility has been unable to cope with his health issues.

Judge Sara Dodd suspended Morgan’s sentence due to his health condition but issued him with a curfew.

Judge Dodd said: “I am dealing with you for yet another dishonest vehicle offence.

“You have a significant number of similar offences although I accept that your last offence was in 2015.

“At some point while the vehicle was stolen £5,000 worth of damage was caused.”

Morgan, who was sentenced for aggravated vehicle taking, was handed a nine-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

He will be tagged for three months and will not being allowed to leave his home between 7pm and 6am.

He must also complete 20 days of rehabilitation to ‘change his thinking’.