A DRUNK 21-year-old got into an unlocked car and coasted down a hill because he did not know how to hot-wire it, a court was told.
Kieran Usher and another male were walking down Otto Terrace in Sunderland, trying car doors, when they spotted the green Nissan Micra.
It had been parked there by its owner at 8pm on March 28, but early the next morning, police received a call saying that the car was on fire, Sunderland magistrates heard.
Paul Doney, prosecuting, said: “The defendant stated that he was walking along the street trying car doors when he saw it was open.
“He got into the driver’s seat and tried to hot-wire the car.
“But he didn’t know how, so he let the handbrake off and drove down the hill.
“He got out of the car and at this time the vehicle was not on fire.”
Usher, of Tower Street West in Hendon, admitted taking a vehicle without consent when he appeared before magistrates.
Chris Wilson, mitigating, said: “There is no suggestion that Mr Usher or his co-accused set fire to that vehicle.
“He doesn’t have a driving licence, as the report says, he doesn’t even know how to drive.”
Usher was handed a 16-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.
The court heard he will be subject to supervision and will have to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
He was also be disqualified form driving for 12 months.