Sunderland motorist took grandad's car before crashing into another vehicle and fleeing the scene
An uninsured Sunderland motorist found dark clouds gathering when he jumped into his grandfather’s car to pop to a shop amid stormy weather.
For Brandon Byron, 23, of Banbury Avenue, Town End Farm, crashed the VW Golf into another motor – and then fled the scene, a court heard.
He ran from Cheadle Road in panic rather than to evade responsibility - and to inform his relative of the accident on Thursday, February 11.
But his decision to hot-foot it left his female victim temporarily without recourse to justice for the £1,000 of damage inflicted - and led to police being called.
Bryon has now been banned from driving for six months for an error of judgment which a judge said had brought “various levels of shame” on him.
Prosecutor Ben Woodward told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: “He was involved in a collision and there was damage to the front of the other vehicle.
“He was seen leaving the car and running out of sight. It was his grandfather’s vehicle.
“The defendant made full admissions to police. He said he had taken the car to go to the shops, and that he had panicked.”
Tom Morgan, defending, said: “The defendant tells me that he made a very poor decision. He feels particularly bad about it.
“He has a very good relationship with his grandfather, who he sees as a father figure. His grandfather has come to court today.
“The weather was particularly poor, and he was going to the shops. It was quite a short distance.
“The act of bolting from the scene was him going to tell his grandfather what had happened.”
The court heard jobless Bryon, who struck the front of a parked car, was of previous good character.
He pleaded guilty to failing to stop after an accident and driving without insurance.
District Judge Kathryn Meek told him: “There’s various levels of shame that should be here for you, Mr Byron.
“It’s serious, but you have no previous convictions. It’s a one-off that’s no less serious for that.”
She also gave Bryon an 18-month community order, with a requirement of 100 hours of unpaid work.
He must pay a £95 victim surcharge and pay £85 court costs.