A DRIVER deliberately rammed another car because a teenager due to give evidence against him in a court case was inside it, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Ryan Shuttleworth, 22, guessed that one of the people who had seen him steal a car was in the vehicle ahead of him on the A65 at Crooklands.

So he drove up close behind it, flashing his lights, and rammed it from behind, prosecuting counsel Tim Evans said.

Shuttleworth, of Main Street, Whittington, near Kirkby Lonsdale, had already pleaded guilty to stealing a Honda Civic – described in court as a “£150 runaround” - from DJ Cox Ltd.

But he had pleaded not guilty to charges of dangerous driving and intimidating a witness, and was due to go on trial yesterday.

He changed his plea, and pleaded guilty to those charges too, after the judge told him he would not be going to prison if he did.

Mr Evans told the court that Shuttleworth, who works as a mechanic at his father’s haulage company, had loaded the Honda Civic onto a low-loader and driven away with it on November 1 2012.

The theft was witnessed by “a group of young men of the sort who hang around in car parks in their cars as part of their social life”, he said.

Police later told Shuttleworth that those young men were prepared to give evidence against him but did not tell him their names.

But he guessed who they were, Mr Evans said, and set out to intimidate them when he saw them in a car a fortnight later.

The judge, Recorder John Corless, told Shuttleworth he would not be going to prison, but warned him he would receive “something up to and including” a suspended sentence.

Shuttleworth was remanded on bail for probation reports into his background and will be sentenced later.