Brought to book after a year on run

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court
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A man has been brought to justice after more than a year on the run.

Damian Hoppe was caught by police on the motorway last year as he drove an £8,000 car which had been stolen in a burglary at Blackpool, but he then failed to return to court after his first appearance before magistrates.

Polish-born, Hoppe, aged 32, formerly of Ryland Road, Lancaster, now living at Godden Place, Gravesend, Kent, who had the court proceedings relayed to him by an interpreter, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods and failing to answer bail.

He was bailed for pre-sentence reports and will be sentenced at a later date by Blackpool magistrates.

Prosecutor, Rachel Parker, said on October 4 last year at 10.15pm police stopped Hoppe as he drove a stolen Renault Megane on a motorway near Shap, Cumbria. He had admitted the offence and been bailed to attend court to be sentenced on Christmas Eve last year. Hoppe had not turned up for that hearing and a warrant for his arrest had been issued.

Ashley Fisher, defending, said his client, who had no previous convictions, had been approached by another man and offered money to drive the car to another place.

After admitting handling stolen goods Hoppe had gone to Gravesend to spend last Christmas and New Year with his mother. He had had no money to return to court in Blackpool. He then stayed permanently with his mum and buried his head in the sand.