Soldier caught doing doughnuts in his Audi in Sunderland supermarket car park to 'show off in front of his mates'
Police arrested a teenage soldier who showed off to friends by doing doughnuts in his Audi in a Sunderland supermarket’s car park.
They watched newly qualified driver Thomas Lawson, 18, spin his motor for up to 15 seconds at Morrisons at the William Doxford Centre, Doxford Park.
Lawson, of Lacebark, Moorside, Sunderland, was stopped as he drove away at around 10.30pm on Friday, August 14, a court heard.
The squaddie was not in court, due to being on manoeuvres, but admitted his guilt via his solicitor – and was fined and given six penalty points.
The court was told a police car drove into the Morrisons car par and switched off its lights after parking up.
Lawson was then seen driving ‘at speed’ and doing wheelspins.
Prosecutor Leanne Duffy told magistrates in South Tyneside: “Officers were on duty in a marked police vehicle.
“They drove into the Morrisons car park and parked up, turning off their lights.
“They observed another two vehicles about 200m away and saw one vehicle begin to drive at speed, doing wheelspins for about 10 to 15 seconds in circles.
“The police followed the Audi away, the driver was the defendant.”
Rebecca Highton, defending, said: “He’s very apologetic for what he did.
“He’s young and thought it was a good idea to show off in front of his mates.
“He’s in the Army, he’s taken a lot of stick from his mates who know about this and that he’s had to request time off.
“He would like to convey to the court how sincerely apologetic he is.”
Ms Highton said Lawson had requested time away from duties to attend court but had not been granted permission.
She said he had been sent on military exercises a week ago and not even his family knew where he had been posted.
Magistrates said they were concerned Lawson had not attended court for a second time due to his Army obligations.
Lawson pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention.
As well as the penalty points, he was fined £34, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.