Redbourn car thief’s moment of madness

A YOUTH who stole his mentor’s van and caused damage to three other cars admitted five charges against him and said that a moment of madness had lost him a dear friend and filled him with regret.

The remorseful 17 year old from Redbourn pleaded guilty to taking the white transit van on October 26 and causing damage to three other cars whilst driving the stolen vehicle. He also pleaded guilty to driving without a licence, without insurance and obstructing an officer in execution of his duty.

The unemployed youth told St Albans Magistrates Court how he had been socialising with the owner of the van who he lived with and worked for when he asked for the keys to the vehicle to retrieve something. The youth then took a friend for a drive in the van in order to prove he was able to drive but crashed into three vehicles when a cover on the steering wheel slipped out of his hands.

In a statement given to police, the youth described being frightened and unsure of what to do and so drove the car a little further on before abandoning it. He and his friend then took the keys back to the owner of the vehicle and said it had been stolen and they couldn’t find it.

The police were contacted and the youth maintained his version of events for some time before confessing that he was responsible for the taking of the vehicle.

The youth told the court that he had made a silly decision and had lost a good friend, as well as his job, because of it.

He was charged with aggravated vehicle taking and vehicle damage under �5,000, using a motor vehicle without third party insurance, driving a motor vehicle without a licence, obstructing a constable in execution of his duty, and of failing to stop after causing a road accident. He was given a 10 month referral order and asked to pay �85 and further compensation arising from the damage caused by the theft of the vehicle.