Sunderland woman took mum's car without her consent before crashing it into roundabout and leaving the scene

A Wearside woman took her mum’s car without permission and crashed into a roundabout before dumping the vehicle and leaving the scene.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 2:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 9:29 am
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Sarah Clark, 32, of West View, Ryhope, took the black Suzuki in the early hours of Sunday, July 14 and hit a curb in Doxford Way, deflating at least three tyres.

Clark then went off to meet her father at a festival and it was a further four hours before police caught up with her at her home, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

The mum-of-two agreed to undertake a roadside breath test, and the reading showed she was above the drink-drive limit.

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She also undertook a breath test procedure at a police station, but the machine would not work, and a blood sample was taken instead.

Magistrates were told she had consumed more alcohol after the accident, meaning police could not prove she was above the drink-drive limit at the time of the accident.

Clark she was charged with being unfit to drive through drink, to which she pleaded guilty.

She also admitted driving without a licence, driving without insurance, and taking a vehicle without consent.

Prosecutor Jeff Taylor said: “The police receive a report from members of the public that a vehicle had effectively come off the road.

“Three or four tyres were deflated, to suggest that the vehicle had hit the curb.

"A female has got out of the vehicle, the information to police is that she seems to be in an intoxicated state.

“The police were able to trace this lady to her home address. The incident is at 1am and they get to her home just after 5am.

“She agreed to take a roadside test, which is a fail. The Camic machine isn’t working so she agrees to a blood test.

“She outlined that there had been some sort of domestic incident. She told police she had had a couple of gins.

“She had gone to a festival afterwards, so police have to concede that there had been alcohol drunk afterwards.”

Chris Wilson, defending, said: “The defendant had had an argument with her ex-partner which had been very acrimonious.

“Her and her father were running a business in Sunderland which encountered difficulties. The business had to be passed on.

“She went to see her father who was organising an event at a local museum. She collided with a roundabout. She pulled the vehicle over and left and continues on to see her father.

“There’s no damage to the roadside furniture and she planned to return the next day. Her mum said that she hadn’t given permission.

“From her perspective there is genuine remorse, and if she could turn back the clock she would.”

For driving while unfit, unemployed Clark was also handed a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 40 hours of unpaid work and must pay a £90 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

There were no separate penalties on the other three charges.