Peak District chef stole boss’s car

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A chef who stole his employer’s car and abandoned it in a field was identified after sending a Snapchat video to a friend, a court heard.

Police were called on January 11 after the Smart Car was found damaged in a field, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard. It was traced back to Judith Dyer, owner of the Charles Cotton Hotel, in Hartington, who had not given anyone permission to take it.

A member of staff working at the hotel received a Snapchat video of the car being driven down the A515 and recognised the voice of Marcus Forrest, prosecutor John Cooper said.

In interview, Forrest initially denied taking the vehicle before admitting it once officers asked him about the Snapchat video. He said he had been driving to Buxton when he got a puncture near the Cottage Hospital and decided to abandon the vehicle in the field.

The 22–year–old, of Springfield Avenue, Chesterfield, admitted aggravated vehicle taking, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and using a vehicle without insurance.

Kirsten Collings, defending, said Forrest had lost his job at the hotel as a result of his actions.

She added: “The offence was on January 11. A couple of days before Christmas his best friend was killed in a road traffic collision in the Isle of Man. He was only 21. And the day before the incident his aunty was diagnosed with terminal cancer. His head was all over the place.”

Magistrates adjourned the case until Monday for the preparation of a pre-sentence report with all options open.