A BANNED driver who took his mother’s friend’s car without her consent and crashed it into a fence has been spared jail.
Convicted drink-driver Simon Ash pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified and using a car without insurance when he appeared at Fareham Magistrates’ Court.
The 20-year-old took the car in the early hours of September 18 after the keys were left at his house while his mother and her friend were away on a foreign holiday.
Ash said he had intended to pick up a friend but ended up crashing into a fence and shrubbery near the holiday chalets in Meon Road, Hill Head.
Prosecuting Giles Fletcher said: ‘He admits taking the vehicle without the agreement of the owner of the car – his mother’s friend.
‘He took the car intending to give his friend a lift and while playing with the radio that’s when he crashed the car. He said he was shocked and embarrassed and that’s why he left the scene.’
Police discovered the wrecked car, traced the owner and then arrested Ash after finding his DNA on the airbag.
The crash happened while Ash was banned from driving for drink-driving and because of that ban he had no insurance. His defence Natalie Dennington told the court that Ash had immediately owned up to his mother and her friend.
He paid for a rental car so that his mother’s friend, who lives in Leeds, would not be inconvenienced when she returned from holiday, although her car was so badly damaged it was written off.
Ms Dennington said that Ash had run into difficulties after he was made redundant from his job and that he was currently unemployed, after completing temporary stints in factories and at Royal Mail.
She said that he wanted to complete a course to work on the railways arranged by the Job Centre and argued that a custodial sentence would put a stop to that.
She said: ‘He made a full admission as he knew what he had done was wrong.
‘He was the only person in the vehicle and luckily for him no-one else was hurt.’
Chairman of the magistrates David Abrams gave Ash a 12-week jail sentence for driving while disqualified and six weeks for the aggravated vehicle taking and driving with no insurance, to run concurrently.
He suspended the 12-week sentence for a year on the condition that Ash completes a course of supervision and goes to 20 sessions of a thinking skills workshop.
Ash, of Mitchell Road, Havant, was made to pay a victim surcharge of £80 and court costs of £85.
He was disqualified from driving for two years.