Young driver stopped as he didn't look old enough

A teen taking his dad's car for a spin was stopped by police as he didn't look old enough to be at the wheel, a court heard.
Burnley Magistrates' CourtBurnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

John Stokes is actually 18, but looked way too young to be driving the Kia Rio. He had passengers on board as well when officers spotted him on McDonalds car park in Accrington.

Burnley magistrates were told how Stokes tried to ditch the keys to the vehicle, but they were recovered by the police. The defendant wasn't insured and didn't have a licence, either. He owned up when police spoke to him.

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Stokes, who is from the travelling community, had no previous convictions, although he had received a caution.

Mrs Alex Mann (prosecuting) told the hearing Stokes had been a risk to himself, his passengers and other road users. She added: "He really shouldn't be letting other family members down in this way."

The defendant's solicitor, Mr Vaqas Latif, said he had been through a bit of a rough time. His mother ha died not long ago.

He had wanted to see his friends in Accrington and took the vehicle. He fully accepted he shouldn't have done that. He fully cooperated with police.

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The solicitor added: "He has a supportive family. He is not working, but wants to learn to become a painter and decorator and realises that having a licence will certainly assist with that."

Stokes, of Chapel Street, Brierfield, admitted taking a vehicle without the owner's consent, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and no insurance, on August 20th. He was sent to an attendance centre for 27 hours, fined £20 and must pay an £85 victim surcharge. The defendant was banned for 12 months.