A WOMAN motorist had her expensive car stolen after two men staged a fake accident to trick her, a court heard.
Cyclist Jack Cartwright pretended that she had knocked him off his bike as they were travelling to Ashton-in-Makerfield and she got out of her VW Tiguan 4x4 to help him.
He told Good Samaritan, Anne Boydell, that his ankle had been injured and was swelling but unbeknown to him she is a retired nurse and so she asked him to show her his other ankle so she could compare them.
Cartwright, 24, took his socks off and she instantly spotted that he was wearing an electronic tag and realised that it was a scam, said Peter Barr, prosecuting.
But another man suddenly appeared, jumped into her vehicle and drove off and Cartwright leapt onto his bike and followed him. Mrs Boydell was left stranded without her phone or handbag, which had been in the car and contained a large sum of cash and her house keys.
Police recovered Cartwright's socks at the scene in Ashton-in-Makerfield but before his DNA could be found on them he had been identified from CCTV footage and was arrested on July 8.
His accomplice, who is known to police, has not yet been tracked down and the vehicle, worth £15,000 is also still missing. It was spotted several days after the incident with false registration plates and being driven by the other man. said Mr Barr.
At the time of the theft, on June 19, Cartwright had the tag fitted and had a suspended prison sentence hanging over him after a criminal damage offence.
Jailing him for two years today Judge Alan Conrad, QC, told Cartwright today that he had "a dreadful record" and that it had been "a sophisticated offence."
He pointed out that Cartwright had decided not to tell police where the car was, though he has since revealed where he last saw it, and said he was concerned about Cartwright's unremorseful attitude when interviewed by a probation officer.
The judge ordered that the 12 week suspended sentence which Cartwright had breached should be served consecutively and he banned him from driving for two years.
Cartwright, of Phoenix Brow, St Helens, had pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to theft.
Tammy Mitchell, defending, said that Cartwright, who has 16 previous convictions, "understands the seriousness of the offence and that it was totally unacceptable".