Drink-driver with no licence took friend’s car – then crashed it into a wall

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A DRINK-driver who crashed his friend’s car into a wall after a night out has been banned from the roads.

Daniel Ashburn, of Croxdale Court, Simonside, South Shields, grew tired of waiting for his friend to finish an argument with a doorman, a court heard.

Instead, the 20-year-old then took the Renault Clio and drove off before crashing into a wall in Concord, Washington.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “Ashburn and his friend had been out drinking that evening.

“At about 1.30am Ashburn was sitting in the Renualt Clio car on his own.

“He has no licence, but drove off and crashed into a car park wall after a short distance,

“He was later found to be over the drink-drive limit, although the reading was not particularly high.”

Ashburn admitted aggravated vehicle taking, driving with excess alcohol, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence, and driving without insurance, all on August 17 when he appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

Chris Wilson, defending, said: “The friend was having an altercation with a doorman.

“Mr Ashburn started the car in a bid to get his friend’s attention, hoping that would, in turn, defuse the doorman situation.

“He then took the wholly erroneous decision to drive off.

“Mr Ashburn has not long finished his apprenticeship as a fitter and turner.

“He is an otherwise law-abiding young man who is unlikely to trouble the courts again.”

Ashburn was sentenced to a 12-month supervision order, 160 hours of community work, and he was banned from driving for 12 months.

He must pay £505 compensation to Sunderland City Council for the wall.

Bench chairwoman Lynda Scanlan said: “This is a serious matter, taking a car, driving it while drunk, and crashing it.

“It could have resulted in a custodial sentence.”

As he left the dock, Ashburn told the bench: “I swear I won’t be here again.”