A man was crushed to death by a car while trying to steal its catalytic converter after the after the jack he had been using collapsed, an inquest has heard.
Daniel Stephens, 25, of Torfaen, was found beneath a vehicle in a car park on 12 August at about 6:00 am.
The car’s owner, Russel Seldon, told the inquest in Pontypridd he noticed Mr Stephens’ legs protruding from under his BMW and called the emergency services.
PC Leah Jeffries, who was at the scene, told the inquest Mr Stephens was “cold and stiff” and she could see his “chest was crushed”.
It was when the car was raised that she noticed a car jack and torch alongside his body.
Mr Stephens’ friend Aron Godfrey, with whom he had been living in Ynysybwl weeks before he died, told the inquest Mr Stephens had been “down and stressed” because he needed money for a court case to try and get more access to his children.
While Mr Godfrey told his friend “not to do anything stupid”, Mr Stephens planned to steal a catalytic converter from a BMW in Cymmer because he knew he could sell it, he told the coroner.
At about 1:00 am, Mr Godfrey said he heard a car drive off, assuming it was his close friend leaving.
After waking at 5:00 am to see Mr Stephens had not returned, he said he drove to Cymmer and saw people standing around the car and emergency services arriving.
“I knew it was Daniel,” he said.
Following a post-mortem examination, the cause of death was determined as “crush asphyxia”.
Low levels of the drug Tramadol and alcohol were also found in Daniel Stephens’ blood, with assistant coroner Rachel Knight reaching a conclusion of accidental death.
She expressed her condolences to Mr Stephens’ family and friends, adding: “It is evident he is greatly missed by many people.”