Man stole pal’s van

A 19 year old has been found guilty of stealing his friend’s van during a boozy night out.

Nathan Hillhouse, of Ovenden Way, Ovenden, Halifax, claimed he couldn’t remember taking the Ford Transit van and his drink must have been spiked.

Calderdale Magistrates’ Court heard how Hillhouse had been driven into Halifax by the son of the owner of the van, Luke Muff, with another friend on December 11 last year.

The van was left at Bull Green car park in the town centre.

They went to the Accapulco, Barbarellas and Ice Bar and consumed about ten alcoholic drinks before moving on to the Tube nightclub where Hillhouse was denied entry.

He asked Mr Muff if he could have the keys to the van to go and get his passport which had been left in the vehicle.

Mr Muff, appearing as a witness, said that after about 20 minutes he started to worry about where Hillhouse was and went to try find him.

But when he got to where the van had been parked it was gone. It was later found in Bracewell Drive, Ovenden, with damage which left it undriveable.

The vehicle was later written off by insurers.

Hillhouse told magistrates he couldn’t remember anything after entering Barbarellas.

He said he was not a heavy drinker and insisted that his drink must have been spiked.

This was despite police interviews where he said he was “199 per cent sure” he had driven the van.

Hillhouse had denied aggravated vehicle taking, driving without a licence or insurance and failing to stop or report an accident.

Sentencing was adjourned until tomorrow by the magistrates.