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18-year-old who could not drive took and crashed step-mum's car


A depressed teenager smashed up his disabled step-mum's £26,000 car after taking it for a night-time spin without permission.

James Winkinins (18), who could not drive, crashed the Vauxhall Insignia into an Astra, damaging both beyond repair, Leicester Crown Court was told.

Victoria Rose, prosecuting, said the Insignia belonged to the defendant's step-mother, Mabel, a wheelchair user who had acquired it under the Mobility scheme.

She left the vehicle at the family home in Derby on September 8.

The police were called to the scene of the crash in Stonehill, Castle Donington, at 4am the next day.

Miss Rose said: "Witnesses saw a male running from the scene."

The defendant returned soon afterwards to admit he was the driver.

Miss Rose said: "He told officers the car was his step-mother's and he'd never driven before."

Winkinins, of Brighton Road, Alvaston, Derby, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and driving without a licence or insurance.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work. He was also banned from driving for 12 months.

Philip Gibbs, mitigating, said: "His step-mother and father are in court and are supportive.

"There's been a good deal of soul searching within the family.

"His parents believe the effect of being prosecuted will have a lasting effect on the defendant. He knows he's been incredibly stupid."

Mr Gibbs said Winkinins went on holiday with his father and step-mother, returning to find his mother had moved away with her boyfriend and he was not allowed to join them.

Mr Gibbs said: "He was devastated and has been receiving treatment and counselling for depression, although it doesn't excuse what he did.

"He had paid the excess on her insurance.

"He's now got a job and is doing well."

Sentencing, Judge Michael Pert QC said: "If coming to court has put you in fear, it's no bad thing."

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