Leamington man stole friend's car after drinking and crashed it into lamppost

The case was heard at Warwickshire Magistrates Court
The case was heard at Warwickshire Magistrates Court

A Leamington man took his friend's car after he had been drinking and crashed it into a lamppost, a court heard today (Friday February 16).

Simon Wood, 21, of Southway, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and failing to provide a sample during the hearing at Warwickshire Magistrates Court.

He also admitted to driving without a valid licence and without insurance.

The court heard Wood had been at his friend Amy Lawton's house in Leamington on Monday January 29, along with several others. Wood had been drinking during the evening.

He asked Miss Lawton for the keys to her Nissan Micra, despite Wood not being able to drive.

Mr Baldev Atwal, prosecuting, said: "She refused, only to discover the following morning that her vehicle was involved in a collision where Mr Wood had collided with a lamppost."

Mr Atwal said that when police arrived at the scene, Wood told them: "I'm pi**ed, I'm telling you I'm over the limit. I hit the lamppost - it's the first time I've ever driven."

Mr Atwal continued: "His mannerisms did not improve during his arrest. He was generally uncooperative and difficult. He regularly shouted out and at one stage made threats towards officers."

During a later breath test, his alcohol level was found to be 84 micrograms per 100 ml - almost two-and-a-half times the legal limit.

Speaking to Mrs Carol Thorne JP, Wood, who was not represented by a lawyer in court, said: "I'm glad nobody got hurt. I've never driven before - it was a stupid idea. I regret doing it.

"I wish I wasn't here, and now there's nothing I can do about it. I can't take it back, but I've told her (Miss Lawton) I'll make it up to her. I deserve what I get."

Mrs Thorne told Wood: "The fact you were very honest and showed genuine remorse has all come into your favour."

Wood was ordered to pay Miss Lawton £300 in compensation, perform 60 hours of unpaid work, and comply with a 12-month supervision order.

He was also banned from driving for 12 months.

His lack of income due to being unemployed meant the court did not make him pay full costs or a victim surcharge.