A GOOD Samaritan who became a crime victim has called for a jail sentence for a reckless car thief who left her “emotionally tortured”.
Liam Liddle, 19, stole the woman’s car before crashing it into a tree, after earlier getting into her home by asking for her help.
After suffering a broken leg and fractured eye socket and nose in the Boxing Day crash in Victoria Road West, Hebburn, Liddle later claimed he had suffered a memory loss and knew nothing about the incident, which saw him cut out of the Suzuki Ignis by firefighters.
Liddle, of Campbell Park Road, Hebburn, who had denied a charge of aggravated vehicle taking, was convicted after a trial at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
The case has been committed to Newcastle Crown Court, where Liddle could be jailed for breaching a suspended sentence.
The woman, who does not wish to be named, was a family friend, and says a jail term could teach the teenager a lesson. She said: “I felt betrayed by what happened. I had to take a week off work and felt emotionally tortured after what I went through.
“Some people said I was too trusting, as though I was to blame for what happened.
“Appearing in court to give evidence was an ordeal for me, because I have not been in so close proximity to him since he stole my car, but the court staff and everyone else were great.
“I think he’s been a very silly lad, and has hurt a lot of people.
“He nearly killed himself and a jail sentence could help him.
“He needs to stop and have time to think about what he’s doing with his life.
“I think justice has been served.”
The court heard that Liddle stole the car keys and other items after the woman had given him food and drink and allowed him to use the phone.
But Liddle later claimed he was offered a lift in the car by a friend, and said he could not remember how he came to be driving the stolen vehicle.
He admitted using a motor vehicle without third party insurance, and driving a motor vehicle otherwise than in accordance with the licence.
Liddle was granted conditional bail until his crown court appearance.