A man who rode in a car stolen from Mansfield was tracked down by a fingerprint he left on a false number plate, a court heard.
The trace of David Brown’s prescence was found in the stolen BMW by police, two days after it was taken from Shirland Drive, on June 14, 2016.
He was arrested at East MIdlands Airport when he returned from holidays, said Anna Pierrepont, prosecuting.
Brown, 35, of Wilton Street, Nottingham, admitted handling stolen goods when he appeared before magistrates in Mansfield, on Thursday.
He was last before the court for possession of cocaine, in November 2015.
No damage was done to the car, and the court heard a spare key had been taken from the owner’s bedroom.
Tim Haines, mitigating, said: “Mr Brown thought the driver had legitimate access to the vehicle.
“He noticed what appeared to be false number plates on the back seat. At that point the penny drops.”
Cheryl Nisbet, of the probation officer, said Brown had been friendly with the driver for a few weeks while taking drugs.
“He accepts responsibility for his part in this venture,” she said.
He had been taking heroin and cocaine for 14 years, she said, but had period of abstinence after ten weeks in hospital for a spinal injury.
Brown was given a nine month community order with a six month rehabilitation course and ten days of a rehabilitation activity requirement.
He was also ordered to pay £85 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.