‘Stupid’ young man took stepfather’s van and crashed

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A ‘stupid’ young man who took his stepfather’s van and crashed it in the middle of the night escaped an immediate jail sentence.

Michael Willets, of Woodland Grove, Mansfield Woodhouse, took the keys from a kitchen cupboard and drove the LDV vehicle, despite not having a licence or insurance.

Magistrates at Mansfield were told that the 21-year-old lived with his mother and stepfather, who had gone away for the weekend.

Taking the van at around midnight on November 14 last year, he was involved in a ‘shunt’ a short time later involving several cars.

He ran from the scene and threw the keys away.

However, after calling his parents to confess, they advised him to hand himself in at the police station, which he did the next day.

He admitted that alcohol had been a factor in him deciding to take the van, which he planned to use to visit a friend.

Mitigating, Simon King, said: “He says this is one of the most stupid things he had ever done. It was foolhardy and he regrets it.

“He woke up the next morning in a complete panic. It’s quite clear he is extremely remorseful for his actions.”

He said that Willets worked as a dry liner, had been out of work but was scheduled to start again in the coming weeks.

He also said Willets had been in touch with one of the drivers involved in the crash, and had already paid him £800 towards the damage of his vehicle.

He was handed an eight-week sentence, suspended for 12 months, given 40 hours community service, banned from driving for 12 months and made to pay £165 in costs.