A drunk and disqualified driver who crashed into two houses has been jailed for six months.
Kevin Pattinson caused damage costing an estimated £15,000 to two houses in Station Road, Hetton.
Witnesses described seeing him slumped over the wheel of the Toyota Hi-Lux pickup following the crash at about 1am.
Pattinson took the Toyota from his estranged wife, South Northumbria Magistrates’ Court heard.
“The couple remain on good terms,” said Ember Wong, prosecuting. “Mrs Pattinson went to work at about 2pm leaving the keys to the Toyota in the house.
“She confirms Mr Pattinson did not have her permission to use the vehicle, and in any event he is disqualified so not allowed to drive it.”
The court heard a householder in Station Road in Hetton was awoken by a large bang some time after midnight.
“She was in bed upstairs,” added Ms Wong. “She looked out of her window to see the Toyota had crashed into the front of her house.
“Damage was also caused to the house next door.
“Both householders say the crash caused them a lot of expense and inconvenience, including having to move out while repairs were made.”
Pattinson was later found to have a breath alcohol level of 99, compared to the legal limit of 35.
The 53-year-old, of Elemore Lane, Easington Lane, denied aggravated vehicle taking, driving with excess alcohol, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, and failing to stop after an accident, all on December 30, last year.
He was convicted off all the offences after a trial.
The court heard he has previous convictions for driving while disqualified, driving with excess alcohol,, and failing to provide a specimen.
Robin Ford, defending, said: “It was Mr Pattinson’s case at trial that he was not the driver, although he has always conceded he took the keys.
“He does accept responsibility for some of what happened.
“Mr Pattinson hade been binge drinking for a reason very emotional to which I don’t propose to go into in open court.
“He has not offended in the last seven years, and has not been to custody since 2010.”
Pattinson was jailed for six months, disqualified from driving for five years, and ordered to pay £115 costs.
Mr Ford made a bail application to a separate bench pending an appeal to be heard at Newcastle Crown Court.
The second bench granted Pattinson bail on condition he lives at home, and observes an 8pm to 6am curfew.