THE POLICE watchdog is to investigate after it emerged a stolen Range Rover which killed a pedestrian may have been involved in two earlier incidents.

Douglas Scott Robertson, 27, was killed on a residential street in Stokesley just after midday on Saturday. A silver car hit a lamppost, throwing it to the top of a tree, before ploughing through a wall and hitting Mr Robertson, fatally injuring him.

Mr Robertson, who lived in the town with his mother and sister, was making a short trip from his home into the town centre to buy some lunch when he was hit.

Now North Yorkshire Police has referred the handling of the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, after reviewing the circumstances leading up to the collision.

The Range Rover was stolen between 4am and 5am that morning.

In a statement released today, a spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said it was clear that a vehicle matching the description of the Range Rover was involved in two earlier incidents that were reported to the force on the morning of Saturday, January 19.

She added: "One was at a service station near the Darlington border and another in Stokesley.

"As soon as it became apparent that these previous incidents were connected to the vehicle involved in the Stokesley collision, as well as the sighting of the suspect vehicle by a North Yorkshire Police patrol prior to the collision, and following reference to the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s (IPCC) statutory guidance, North Yorkshire Police immediately referred the incident to the IPCC."

Today, Delton O’Neill, 18, from Sowerby Crecent in Stokesley, North Yorkshire and a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Northallerton Magistrates Court in connection with the fatal incident.

The 15-year-old faces charges of death by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

Mr O’Neill, from Sowerby Crescent, Stokesley, was charged with aggravated vehicle taking, allowing himself to be carried in a vehicle that had been taken. Neither defendant entered a plea.

The packed public gallery cheered when magistrates granted the teenager bail.

The prosecution team announced they would be appealing against the decision and the teenager was then led back to custody in tears.

He will remain remanded until the appeal against his decision is heard in camera by a crown court judge tomorrow.

A third man aged 23, arrested last night in connection with the incident, remains in police custody.

A 48-year-old man, from Brompton-on-Swale in Richmondshire, is due at court on February 8 charged with obstructing investigating officers.

Officers are asking people with information to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.