A MAN who took his father’s car for a joyride and stole £21 worth of petrol before trying to outrun the police has appeared in court.
Carl Stones, 20, of Gilmonby Road, Middlesbrough, appeared for sentencing at Teesside Crown Court today (Wednesday, 30 January) after previously pleading guilty to six driving offences.
The court heard that just after 10pm on May 5 last year, Stones took his father’s Kia Rio without permission, filled it with £21.89 worth of fuel from a petrol station on Ormesby High Street and drove off without paying.
Stones, who had been drinking and was driving the car without its lights on, then picked up two of his friends before he was spotted by police at 11pm.
A chase took place at speeds of up to 50mph along 30mph residential roads in Ormesby and Stones mounted a kerb and grass verge as he tried to overtake a taxi.
Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said: “He braked suddenly so that he could get behind the police vehicle then overtake on the offside, causing a danger to those coming towards him, causing them to brake and swerve in order to avoid a collision.”
Mr Hadfield said Stones narrowly avoided a Transit van as he cut a corner while making a right turn.
He made another right turn into a cul de sac and drove the car straddling the kerb for about 30 metres before he abandoned it at the end of the road and ran off.
Stones returned to the car while the officers were talking to its two passengers.
A breath test revealed he had 45mg of alcohol in his breath – the legal limit is 35mg – and Stones was charged with drink driving, dangerous driving, aggravated taking without consent, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and making off without paying for the petrol.
Richard Herrmann, mitigating, admitted that it was “an atrocious piece of driving” but that the chase had been “relatively short”.
He said at the time of the incident Stones was going through a difficult period having split up with his long-term girlfriend and mother of his two children.
Mr Herrmann added that Stones had a life-long ambition to join the armed forces and was determined to reach that goal.
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton told Stones to think himself lucky that he was not being sent to prison as he sentenced him to 200 hours unpaid work and banned him from driving for two years.