A warrant not backed for bail has been issued for a man caught driving a £12,000 stolen car in Bradford in convoy with another vehicle.

Michael George, 55, failed to turn up for a sentencing hearing at Bradford Crown Court today after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to handling stolen goods.

Judge Andrew Hatton issued the warrant when George, of Roundhay Place, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, did not appear after almost half an hour.

George’s co-accused Atif Asif, who was in the court building in good time, was sentenced to a community order after admitting the offence on the day of his trial.

Prosecutor Andrew Semple told the court that a Citroen was stolen overnight in a house burglary in Leeds in October 2019.

Four days later, on October 8, police officers on the lookout for the vehicle saw it being driven on Toftshaw Lane in Bradford.

Mr Semple said it was in convoy with a VW Polo before it turned into a factory complex and came to a dead end.

George got out of the Citroen and ran off but was apprehended in the factory car park.

The Polo was driven off but spotted soon afterwards in the Holme Wood area with Asif, 23, of Merchants Court, Little Germany, Bradford, at the wheel.

He at first denied any knowledge of the stolen Citroen but a spare key to the car was found in the Polo’s glove box, the court was told.

Asif’s barrister, Khadim Al’Hassan, said he was the carer for his mother.

He was a young man with testimonials that spoke very highly of him.

He was able and willing to do unpaid work and to comply with the rehabilitation activity requirement recommended by the probation service.

Judge Hatton said the case dated back almost two years and had been delayed in part by the Covid pandemic.

Asif was part of a team caught moving a car stolen in a house burglary several days previously but he had not been in any trouble before or since.

Judge Hatton said he was able to step back from a custodial sentence.

He imposed a 12 month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and up to 20 rehabilitation activity days.

He warned Asif not to breach any conditions of the order, but added: “I’m as sure as I can be Mr Asif that you and I are not going to meet again.”