Learner driver banned after stealing dad’s car

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A LEARNER driver has been banned from the roads after stealing his father’s car and crashing it into two other vehicles.

Liam Hetherington lost control of the Land Rover in Lynton Avenue, Jarrow, after taking it from outside his home in Clovelly Place, just a street away.

The 21-year-old hit a parked Renault Zafira – causing it to be written off – before fleeing the scene.

He was arrested after telling his father what happened later the same day on February 25.

Hetherington pleaded guilty to aggravated taking of a vehicle without consent, failing to stop after an accident, driving with no insurance and driving without a licence at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Sarah Guest, prosecuting, said: “He was in his father’s Land Rover, and lost control when he took a corner.

“He hit a parked Vauxhall Zafira, which shunted into a Ford Mondeo.

“He panicked and left the car, and told his dad later on.”

Mrs Guest told the court that the Zafira was written off because the damage was so bad, and the Land Rover also suffered extensive damage to the front.

She said: “In his police interview, he said he took the car to go to his mum’s home in Jarrow to pick up some belongings.”

Mark Richardson, defending, said: “On this day, he made a decision to drive a short distance. It was a very bad one, as proved by the accident.

“He made it even worse by panicking and fleeing the scene, but he has shown a great deal of remorse.

“In his police interview, he was clearly very sorry, and quite distressed at what he had done.

“He told the officers he was disgusted with himself.”

Magistrates banned Hetherington from driving for 12 months, and gave him an 18-month community order with supervision and 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to each of the other car owners, £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

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