A concerned friend who had only previously driven a “dune buggy” wrote off his pal’s £20,000 car as he attempted to move it out of the sight of a traffic warden.
Karl Maskill, 22, caused chaos as he lost control of the Volvo 4x4 and smashed into three parked vehicles in Fulwell on February 27, Sunderland magistrates heard.
Mr Maskill sees a traffic warden approach his friend’s vehicle and has taken it upon himself to move it round the corner.
Prosecutor Lee Poppett said Maskill got behind the wheel of the 63-reg Volvo when he spotted a traffic warden in Bower Street, while his friend had nipped to the post office.
“Mr Maskill sees a traffic warden approach his friend’s vehicle and has taken it upon himself to move it round the corner,” Mr Poppett said.
“Unfortunately, he did not have his friend’s permission, a driving licence or insurance. “He takes it round the corner, onto Sea Road, and onto Laws Street.
“On negotiating the junction, he lost control and collided with a vehicle.
“He has then driven down Laws Street and collided with a further two vehicles.”
Mr Poppett said the damage to the Volvo was such that it was a write-off.
A Peugeot Partner van suffered damage along the length of the vehicle.
A Vauxhall Corsa was also damaged along the side and a second Peugeot Partner van required its owner to pay a £500 excess to claim on his insurance.
“Mr Maskill was entirely compliant with the police,” Mr Poppett said.
“He remained at the scene and gave a full account to the police.
“He said he decided to move the car in case his friend got a ticket. He drove round the block and he lost control.
“He said he had no type of driver’s licence and no insurance, but that he had driven an automatic dune buggy before.”
Maskill, of Coldstream Avenue, Southwick, admitted taking a vehicle without consent, which was aggravated by the damage caused, along with driving without insurance and otherwise than in accordance with a licence. Willie Johnstone, defending, said: “This is a most unfortunate set of circumstances. Karl was out with his friend, who had to go to the post office. He left him in the passenger seat.
“Unfortunately, he saw the traffic warden going up and down the street. Karl thought ‘my friend is going to get a £60 fine’ and he tried to do him a favour. “He thought he was doing a good deed.”
Maskill was given a 12-month community order, with 100 hours of unpaid work. He was banned from driving for a year and told to pay £500 in compensation.