A MOTOR parts dealer began supplying spares from vehicles stolen across the North-East, a court heard.

Stephen Grundy ran a legitimate business specialising in used Peugeot spares at the Old Colliery Yard, in Sacriston, near Chester-le-Street.

Durham Crown Court was told when police raided the yard in 1997 it was "overflowing" with spares, but there was no evidence of car bodies or chassis.

Robin Patton, prosecuting, said examination revealed the identification numbers were removed from many parts.

The police eventually identified them as coming from stolen Peugeots, worth £39,450.

Grundy told police he bought the spares legitimately, although he had no documentation to prove his claim.

Tony Hawks, mitigating, said the business began legitimately.

However, as people knew he had previous convictions, Grundy was "soon drawn into receiving stolen parts".

Grundy, 33, of Taylor Avenue, Bearpark, near Durham, who admitted handling the stolen car spares, was jailed for a year.