A catalytic converter thief was crushed to death as he tried to steal one of the devices from a car that he was lying underneath.
An inquest into the death of Daniel Stephens heard how he was found underneath the BMW which had been parked in Cymmer, Rhondda Cynon Taf.
25-year-old Stephens died from his injuries after the jack he was using to prop the car up collapsed, allowing the car to drop on top of him.
During the inquest, the owner of the BMW, Russel Seldon, explained how he could see Stephens’ legs protruding from underneath his vehicle.
In a statement read to the court, Mr Seldon said:
“I walked across the street from my house to my car which was in the small car park opposite.
“I saw a pair of legs sticking out from under the car, wearing dark coloured bottoms and trainers.
“I called out and pulled on the person’s leg to see if they were okay, but there was no response.”
The incident happened at around 06:00 hours on 12th August 2020.
PC Leah Jeffries told the inquest that Stephens was ‘cold and stiff’ and she could see that his ‘chest was crushed’ as the car was raised off his body.
It was at that moment she also noticed the car jack and a torch.
The inquest heard how Stephen’s had gone to the car park at around 01:00 hours after telling a friend that he intended to steal the device.
Toxicology reports found low levels of Tramadol and alcohol in his blood. His cause of death was determined as ‘crush asphyxia’.
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