A car which was impounded as evidence during an investigation into the death of a much-loved son was later stolen from the police, a court heard.

Ryan Lynch, 29, from Braintree, died in hospital after he was allegedly struck by a white Audi R8.

The car allegedly mounted the pavement in South Street at around 3.30pm on April 8, 2018.

Steven Lee, 36, was later charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

He did not enter a plea to the charge when he appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

His solicitor, Nina Lewis, said an issue regarding the vehicle involved in the incident needed to be looked into before the next court hearing.

She said: “There is a potential issue of the vehicle in this case which needs to be investigated due to that vehicle being stolen while in police custody.

“It has since been recovered but is no longer in an evidential forensic state.”

Ms Lewis also requested dash cam footage from a vehicle passing the scene be served on the defence.

She said: “We will need all the exhibits attached to the forensic collision investigator’s report.”

Chairman of the bench Don Wicks granted Lee, of Willingale Road, Braintree, unconditional bail. He is next due to appear for a plea and trial preparation hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on November 11.

Mr Wicks said: “This is a matter that cannot be dealt with in the magistrates’ court.

“We are sending this to the Crown court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on November 11.

“In the meantime I am going to release you on unconditional bail, but I must warn you if you don’t come back to court on that date, at that time, you will be committing an offence.”

Following Mr Lynch’s death, parents Tony and Karen described him as a “dearly loved son, brother, uncle, partner and truly a great friend to anyone who knew him”, and said he would be “greatly missed”.