A Brit who allegedly went on a two-mile Benidorm wrecking spree with a stolen coach is a convicted robber who had just been released from a UK jail.

It has emerged that Josh Wannan should have been back behind bars in Britain when he was arrested for the Costa Blanca joyride - because he had breached his licence conditions.

He had been freed early from a five-year, eight-month jail sentence.

The 27-year-old from Leeds, West Yorks, is thought to have earned himself a prison recall by skipping the UK to celebrate his new-found freedom with a foreign holiday.

West Yorkshire Police have confirmed they are now liaising with Spanish authorities after learning about the trail of destruction he is accused of causing.

Wannan is now languishing in a prison near Alicante after being remanded in custody following a Spanish court appearance.

Josh Wannan is accused of causing a trail of destruction

He was warned he faces a jail sentence of to seven years if convicted over the joyride, plus a massive compensation bill.

Extraordinary CCTV footage showed the coach he allegedly stole flinging mopeds into the air after being driven at speed down a narrow town centre street during the early-hours joyride.

The vehicle had been taken minutes earlier from a private coach firm depot on the outskirts of Benidorm.

More than 30 cars, motorbikes and mopeds were damaged. They included a police van and the passenger coach which will cost around £25,000 to repair according to its owners.

Wannan is being investigated for a string of offences, including reckless driving, theft of a motor vehicle and two minor assaults said to have occurred as police arrested him near the stolen vehicle in the early hours of December 8.

The orgy of destruction caused thousands of pounds of damage

It can today be revealed he was just weeks out of prison in the UK after being convicted of taking part in a £45,000 raid at a pawnbroker’s shop at Seacroft Shopping Centre, Leeds.

The Brit was one of five men who targeted the Brown & Gold shop on December 23 2016.

Wannan was one of three members of the gang who entered the shop wearing balaclavas and motorbike helmets and threatened staff with a hammer.

Reports at the time said Wannan kicked open a display cabinet and filled the bag with jewellery as other members of the gang stopped employees from leaving.

He was caught after brave members of the public intervened and he head-butted one man as he was tripped and held on the ground before police arrived.

Mr Wannan, from Leeds, was arrested after the incident

Wannan was jailed for five years, eight months by Leeds Crown Court in April 2017 after pleading guilty to robbery, possession of an offensive weapon and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He is thought to have been released in October, although officials have not yet confirmed the exact date.

He also has a burglary conviction, linked to a March 2013 raid at a Co-op store in Rastrick near Leeds in which £2,000 of cigarettes were stolen.

Wannan is thought to have been breathalysed and made to take drugs tests after being arrested in Benidorm, although the results have not been revealed.

Joaquin Rios, manager of Premier Bus which owns the stolen coach, said after the Brit’s arrest: “The damage to the coach alone is going to cost around £25,000.

“The man who took the vehicle is a tourist as far as I know.

The wrecking spree was carried out in a stolen coach

“The police have told me 33 vehicles including cars and motorbikes have been damaged as well as streets signs and bollards and the entrance to our depot.

“I don’t know what the total’s going to be but it will be a pretty hefty bill.”

He added: “The person responsible took advantage of the fact the gates were open because another vehicle had just driven in.

“He got into the depot while the driver was parking the coach and took three or four sets of keys.

“He tried to start another coach before taking the vehicle he was filmed leaving in.

“We’ve already got lawyers on the case.”

Witness Chris Garrido said: “I saw it enter my street from my flat. I saw everything, how it smashed up mopeds in front of the police station and smashed a wing mirror and the back of a police van.

“It crashed into three cars at the start of the street and several mopeds and cars as well as metal bollards, and that was just in my street.

“I don’t know if it was the normal driver of the vehicle and he was pissed up or someone who was also p***** up and had stolen it.”

A spokesman for the judge who sent Wannan to prison following a closed court hearing on December 10, confirmed: “Benidorm’s Court of Investigation Number Two, acting as a duty court, has remanded the detainee in prison.

“He is being investigated at this stage for a traffic security offence, a crime of reckless driving, a crime of taking a vehicle and a further offence of assaulting police officers as well as two crimes of minor assault."

Wannan’s current status as an ‘investigado’ under Spanish law means he is under investigation.

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In Spain formal charges are only laid shortly before trial.

A Probation Service spokesman said: “Joshua Wannan was recalled to prison on November 1 after breaching his licence conditions.

“Offenders on licence must comply with a strict set of conditions to protect the public - and if they don’t, they face going back to prison.”

A spokesman for West Yorks Police, the force responsible for returning Wannan to custody in the UK, said: “West Yorkshire Police are liaising with Spanish authorities.”

It was not clear today if UK authorities will attempt to have Wannan extradited before or after the Benidorm joyride is dealt with in Spain in an eventual trial.

UK authorities did not say if a European Arrest Warrant was being issued.