A TAXI driver who was found guilty of handling a stolen car has been ordered to carry out work in the community.

Mazher Farooq, 56, of View Road, Keighley, was made the subject of a 12 months community order at Bradford Crown Court.

He must comply with a four-month curfew, as well as complete 60 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard that Farooq was found guilty after a trial of dishonestly receiving stolen goods, namely a blue Vauxhall Astra belonging to Joshua Jones.

At trial Farooq gave an account of the incident which took place in September last year, saying he had simply been offered the vehicle by a person he had met in a takeaway restaurant.

He bought it intending to make a profit for himself.

Judge Colin Burn said the jury at his trial had not believed the rather unlikely explanation, and that the individual he bought the car from was “very close to the thief, if not the thief in the first place”.

“It seems to me there was some sort of an arrangement that you would take this car and break it down and sell it, knowing it was stolen.

“It was a serious error of judgement,” the judge added.

The court also heard that Farooq was a taxi driver, but currently did not work due to a number of medical conditions, including a back problem.

The judge added that despite Farooq’s health conditions he was still able to carry out unpaid work, such as working in a charity shop, rather than the more traditional physical activities.