A MAN repaid the kindness of a family friend who took him in when he had nowhere else to go – by taking his car for a joy-ride after drinking and crashing it while being pursued by police.
Learner driver Kevin Mould, 30, wrecked the Renault Clio that Douglas Fenwick had been using to teaching him to drive and intended to give to him once he had passed his test, Sunderland magistrates heard.
You drove that car, chased by police. You damaged it. You drove on the wrong side of the road. You could have killed somebody.Hilary Malik, Chairman of the Bench
Mould, a worker at Ikea’s Gateshead store, was taken in by Mr Fenwick, a friend of his former foster parents as he grew up, in his hour of need.
Prosecutor Lee Poppett said police spotted the silver car in Cheltenham Road, Hylton Castle, at 9pm on Saturday, April 4, and pulled up alongside it, signalling for it to stop.
“He then decided to accelerate at speed and drive away from the police,” Mr Poppett said. “The police car pursued Mould along various streets.”
Mould’s vehicle eventually came to a stop and switched off its lights. However, as police approached him, he sped off without any lights on at speeds of more than 50mph.
“At times, the speed was so excessive that the Clio lost traction and travelled on the wrong side of the road,” Mr Poppett said.
“It attempted a left turn but overshot the junction, ending up on the wrong side of the road, colliding with the kerb, causing damage to the front offside and axle.
“It came to a stop because it was not capable of being driven any more.”
Officers conducted a breath test, and Mould was found to have 53mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, the legal limit being 35.
Mould, still living with Mr Fenwick at his home in Mount Road, Barnes, Sunderland, admitted aggravated vehicle-taking, drink-driving and driving without a licence or insurance.
Anna Haq, defending, said: “The injured party is a family friend who’d been allowing him to use the vehicle when he was supervised, to try to pass his test.
“His intention was to gift the vehicle to Mould once he’d passed his test.
“Mould is ashamed of his behaviour on this particular evening.”
He was given a 17-week jail sentence suspended for 18 months, as well as being banned from driving for three years and ordered to pay £250 compensation, £85 costs and a £80 surcharge.
Mould will also have to complete 200 hours’ unpaid work and a 30-day activity programme.
Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Hilary Malik said: “You deserve custody because we have looked at your antecedents and your past criminal history.
“You drove that car, chased by police. You damaged it. You drove on the wrong side of the road. You could have killed somebody.
“You were very fortunate to have someone who was going to give you a car. You think about that.
“You are not a boy-racer – you are 30.”