A Barnoldswick pensioner turned detective and made a Facebook appeal to catch the unknown culprit after a car smashed into his Nissan and left it un-driveable, a court heard.
Burnley magistrates were told how it turned out 23-year-old Ann-Marie Ayub, who worked at a nearby pharmacy, had crashed into the £2,500 Micra vehicle, possibly writing it off, in her BMW. Ayub, a probationary driver after passing her test a year ago, said the automatic BMW was new to her and claimed she had pressed the accelerator by mistake.
Mrs Alex Mann, prosecuting, told the hearing the defendant appeared to have had a "momentary lapse of concentration." She didn't report the crash to police or make any enquiries to swap details with the Micra owner. Officers eventually contacted Ayub after the victim made enquiries himself.
The victim had left his Micra parked outside his home on Mosley Street on the evening of January 9 and the next morning found it damaged, after being alerted by neighbours. The prosecutor said no driver details had been left on his vehicle. He posted on Facebook, appealing for the driver to come forward and a neighbour went to see him with CCTV footage.
Mrs Mann continued: "It showed a BMW hit his parked car and also the same BMW parked in the same location the next day at 9.30 and he could identify the driver on that brighter shot the next day."
The court heard police viewed the CCTV and spoke to the defendant, who accepted she had had a collision with a parked vehicle. She had no previous convictions.
Mr Scott Parker, defending, said Ayub made a full and frank admission when interviewed by the police. She had driven up and down that road many times previously without incident and had been on her way home from work.
The solicitor said the defendant had just changed her vehicle to an automatic. He continued: "She pressed the accelerator, perhaps confused by the automatic controls. She accepts she wasn't paying attention."
Mr Parker said Ayub had written a letter of apology and handed in a reference from her employer. He added: "She has never been in trouble with the police. It's been a steep learning curve for her. She should have stayed at the scene. Even if she stayed, quite possibly nobody would have come out."
Ayub, of Burnley Road in Accrington, admitted falling to report an accident and driving without due care and attention. She was fined £169, with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge and was given five points. The Bench chairman told her: "Let this be a lesson for you."