Sunderland man takes granddad's Mercedes for drive while he's on holiday, gets caught out after driving in a bus lane and grandfather is sent ticket
A man took his grandfather's Mercedes for a drive without permission to pick up friends - only to get caught out after driving in a bus lane.
Ryan Goldsmith took the car for a spin while his granddad was on holiday, and later took his grandfather's van to get fuel for the Mercedes in a bid to cover up what he'd done.
But the foolish 20-year-old Goldsmth's was caught out when his grandfather received a ticket for driving in a bus lane.
He appeared in South Tyneside Magistrates' Court this week.
"The defendant was living with his grandparents in Sunderland," said Lee Poppett, prosecuting.
"They went on a foreign holiday, leaving both vehicles parked at their address.
"When the grandfather later received a bus lane ticket for the Mercedes, he knew something was wrong because it was dated for when he was on holiday.
"It emerged that Mr Goldsmith had used the car to pick up some friends after a night out in Newcastle.
"He then used the van to go to buy fuel to replace what he had used in the Mercedes."
In a victim personal statement read to the court, Goldsmith's grandfather said: "The Mercedes is a big, powerful, car.
"He could have seriously injured or killed someone while driving it.
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"His behaviour is getting worse, something needs to be done."
Goldsmith, of Rishton Square, Sunderland, admitted two charges of taking a vehicle without the owner's consent, and he admitted two charges of driving without insurance, all on January 7.
Jason Smith, defending, said: "This has caused the breakdown of the relationship with his grandparents with whom he was living.
"He is now living on his own.
"When Mr Goldsmith received the call from his friend to say he was stranded in Newcastle without money, he wanted to help.
"It was a stupid thing to do, and having done that, he did another stupid thing in a bid to cover up the first stupid thing.
"Mr Goldsmith now realises how stupid he was, and he is sorry for the way in which he behaved.
"He is a young man of previous good character."
Goldsmith was sentenced to a community order of 12 months, 80 hours of unpaid work, 12 driving licence penalty points, and he was ordered to pay £170 in fines and costs.
The court heard the 12 points will trigger an automatic driving ban of six months.