A CROOK jumped into a car he knew was stolen and used a nabbed credit card to buy cigarettes.

Benjamin Legg was picked up by a group of people he knew in the Basildon area and proceeded to try to buy items with the card - which he knew was stolen.

The 24-year-old got into the Ford Focus on February 5 this year, which was being driven by another man.

This person had stolen the keys to the car, along with a credit card, from a house in the borough in the same month.

Legg, of Academy Dove, Laindon, was fully aware of where the car and card had come from, and was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court yesterday.

The court was told Legg was driven to the Bell Corner Service Station at the Five Bells junction of the A13, where he used the credit card to purchase cigarettes to the value of £19.75.

This transaction came up as an alert on the card’s owner, who had reported it was stolen.

This then led to a police investigation where CCTV from the service station was reviewed and showed Legg making the purchase at the time.

The court was told Legg had previously been convicted of burglary offences from 2016, and that he was arrested by police on May 1 this year, and has remained in custody ever since.

He appeared dressed in a dark tracksuit top with short cropped hair.

He spoke only to confirm his name and nationality.

Legg admitted being carried in a stolen vehicle taken without the owner’s consent, and one count of fraud by false representation.

Mitigation for Legg said he had been in custody for ten full weeks and that this was “adequate punishment” for his crimes.

Legg was also said to be remorseful for the incidents.

Judge John Lodge told Legg: “These offences are so serious that they take a custodial sentence.

“You will receive nine weeks in prison for being carried in the vehicle, and 18 weeks for the count of fraud.

“You will serve half of that time in custody.”

Due to time already served in prison, Legg will be released from custody and serve the remainder of his sentence on licence in the community.