A thief with 116 previous convictions has appeared in court after a failed car theft saw him knocked unconscious by the vehicle's owner.
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court heard how Lee Halcrow – a drug addict and career criminal – had attempted to steal a car from a driveway, but was confronted after the owner noticed its interior light was on.
Halcrow, 38, tried to flee when the owner and his brother asked him what he was up to. The men chased him down before knocking him out cold and calling police.
Halcrow later pleaded guilty to vehicle interference – the latest in a string of convictions dating back to 1989.
John McGlone, prosecuting, told the court that after the car's owner found out Halcrow was in his car, he went outside to find out what was going on.
"The men went outside and asked what he was doing," he said.
"Halcrow said someone had told him to get it and ran off towards Chichester Road.
"They caught up and detained him while waiting for the police."
Halcrow was hospitalised for three days as a result of his injuries and was arrested after being discharged.