Thief, 25, crushed to death under BMW while trying to steal catalytic converter

·2 min read
Daniel Stephens, 25, was crushed underneath a BMW as he tried to steal its catalytic converter. (Wales News)
Daniel Stephens, 25, was crushed underneath a BMW as he tried to steal its catalytic converter. (Wales News)

A young father-of-three was crushed to death by a BMW as he tried to steal its catalytic converter, an inquest heard.

Daniel Stephens used a jack to hold the car up but it collapsed, leaving him crushed by the weight of the vehicle. 

The 25-year-old was found under the car by its owner who saw his legs poking out from underneath it. 

An inquest in Pontypridd heard that Stephens, of Blaenavon, Torfaen, wanted money to pay court costs so he could ensure better access to his children.

An inquest in Pontypridd heard that the owner of the car found Stephens' legs poking out from under the BMW. (Google Maps)
An inquest in Pontypridd heard that the owner of the car found Stephens' legs poking out from under the BMW. (Google Maps)

He had told friend Aaron Godfrey he thought he could get £500 if he stole the car's catalytic converter.

Godfrey 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."

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The inquest heard that car owner Russell Seldon found Stephens under the silver car in Porth, Rhondda, at around 6am on 12 August 2020, as he went to drive to work.

He 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."

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

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.

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