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Woman took landlord's car and crashed it

PUBLISHED: 08:27 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 14:52 07 July 2010

A woman who took her landlord's car without permission and crashed it into the front garden of a family home has been sentenced to 200 hours' community service and told to pay £650 compensation to the car's owner.

A woman who took her landlord's car without permission and crashed it into the front garden of a family home has been sentenced to 200 hours' community service and told to pay £650 compensation to the car's owner.

Kirsty Smith, of Helsinki Way, Toftwood, also had her provisional driving licence revoked for a year. The 25-year-old appeared before magistrates at Swaffham where she admitted aggravated vehicle taking, driving a vehicle otherwise than in accordance with a licence and using a vehicle without third-party insurance.

Kevin Eastwell, prosecuting, told the court that Smith had taken her landlord's car, knowing she would not be given permission to drive it.

He said she had driven it to Tesco to buy a DVD before the accident, which happened at 1.10am on December 9 in Stone Road, Dereham.

He said: “She lost control and crashed through a hedge and ended up in a garden. She only had a provisional licence and was uninsured.”

He said loose chippings on the road were believed to be the cause of the accident.

James Burrows, defending, said that Smith had been given permission to drive the car on a previous occasion earlier in the evening but she accepted she had driven without insurance.

He said she had lost control because the car was too powerful for her but she had never intended to damage it.

He said: “This was a big bravado in front of her friends.

“She just allowed herself to get a bit over-excited and over-exuberant.

“Her intention was to drive back on to the driveway and put the keys back on the kitchen table.”

Smith was sentenced to do 200 hours' unpaid work and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

She was also ordered to pay £650 compensation to the car owner to cover the excess on his insurance policy.

Sentencing, chairman of the bench Gerry Burns told Smith: “This is a very stupid thing to have done and extremely serious. You took this high-powered car and you could not drive it.”

Referring to the defence's claim that paying the compensation would exacerbate Smith's already acute financial problems, Mr Burns continued: “We are not a debt-counselling service but if you look at your lottery, drinking and smoking habits, you could save money there.”

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