A MAN who claimed he was only looking after a stolen £40,000 Range Rover for someone else, has been spared jail.

Asrear Zulifqar refused to name the people who left the car with him just minutes before police found him in the driver's seat on Back Lever Edge Lane, Bolton on March 18.

At Wigan Magistrates' Court Zulifqar, aged 39, of Calvert Road, Bolton, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months and was ordered to undertake 80 hours of unpaid work. He had pleaded guilty to receiving the stolen Ranger Rover and having no licence or insurance.

The court had previously heard how police had spotted the vehicle going through a no entry sign and, after it stopped, Zulifqar attempted to run off.

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When arrested Zulifqar insisted that he had not stolen the car and when checks were made on the Range Rover, police discovered that it had been stolen three days earlier.

He said he expected to receive £50 from others for looking after the vehicle.

Zulifqar, a self-employed vehicle sprayer and father-father-of-three, has several previous convictions including for driving whilst banned, having no insurance and receiving stolen goods.

In addition to the prison sentence, Zulifqar was banned from applying for a driving licence for six months, must participate in 15 days of rehabilitation activities and pay £207 in costs and charges.