DCSIMG

Learner driver, 69, crashed car

Eric Stringer leaves Pontefract and Wakefield Magistrates Court.
23rd January 2014. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Eric Stringer leaves Pontefract and Wakefield Magistrates Court. 23rd January 2014. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe.

A 69-year-old learner driver crashed his wife’s car after taking it for a solo spin to pay his snooker subs, a court heard.

Magistrate Howard Tate told Eric Stringer, 69, he expected to see a “young thug” on the aggravated vehicle taking charge when he saw the case in the list - rather than the retired miner.

Stringer, of Thomas Way, South Elmsall, admitted the charge. He also pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen for blood for analysis, having no appropriate licence and no insurance.

Wakefield and Pontefract Magistrates’ Court heard how Stringer took his wife’s Rover on January 12 to drive to his local club where he is on the snooker team.

He paid his subscriptions but also stopped for about three pints of beer.

On his way back he crashed into the gate of a house on in Bailey Crescent, South Elmsall at 4.15pm. The home owner took the keys out of the ignition after Stringer tried to drive off.

Stringer claimed he lost control after taking evasive action from an oncoming vehicle. He said he later tried to move the car only to inspect the damage.

Emma Covington, mitigating, said Stringer was not going to learn to drive at “his ripe old age” and has decided to remain a non-driver.

The solicitor asked the magistrates to bear in mind her client’s age, lack of any previous convictions and the minimal damage caused when determining the sentence.

Bench chairman Howard Tate, passing sentence, told Stringer: “One of the charges being aggravated vehicle taking, we did expect a young thug to be coming in rather than yourself.”

Stringer was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £300. He must also pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

 

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