Thief crushed to death by car while trying to steal its catalytic converter


    A young father was crushed to death by a BMW while trying to steal its catalytic converter, an inquest heard.

    Daniel Stephens, 25, was found under the car by its owner who saw his legs poking out from below.

    An inquest heard a jack Stephens had been using to hold the car up had collapsed and he was crushed by the vehicle’s weight.

    Car owner Russell Seldon found the father of three Stephens under the silver car in Porth, Rhondda, at around 6 am as he went to drive to work.

    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-colored bottoms and trainers.

    ‘I called out and pulled on the person’s leg to see if they were okay, but there was no response.’

    Stephens of Blaenavon, Torfaen had told friend Aaron Godfrey he thought he could get £500 if he stole the car’s catalytic converter.

    He said: ‘He had spoken about stealing a catalytic converter from a BMW he had seen.

    ‘He knew it would be worth around £500 – but I told him not to do anything stupid or steal anything.’

    The inquest was told Stephens wanted money to pay court costs so he could ensure better access to his children.

    PC Leah Jeffries said Stephens was ‘cold and stiff’ when she arrived at the scene and could see that his ‘chest was crushed’.

    She said a car jack and torch were found next to his body.

    The Pontypridd hearing was told Stephens suffered injuries to his chest, face and neck consistent with being crushed by a heavyweight.

    A medical cause of death was given as crush asphyxia and he was identified by his tattoos and fingerprints.

    Coroner Rachel Knight gave a conclusion of accidental death.