Crewe teenager stole taxi sent to pick him up – then crashed it!
August 11, 2011
A TEENAGE drunk who wrote off a stolen mini-bus after an afternoon drinking session received a suspended jail sentence.
Thomas Anthony Hill, 18, Nantwich, was handed an eight-month suspended sentence for driving with excess alcohol and aggravated vehicle-taking at Chester Crown Court on Monday.
The court heard how Hill, who was more than twice the legal limit when he was arrested, had been drinking with work colleagues on December 23rd 2010.
He had started to walk home but then knocked on someone’s door to ask them to call a taxi for him.
Prosecuting, Laura Nash said: “He sat down and attempted to log on to Facebook. He was slurring his words. He left and walked down the drive towards the taxi, which then drove away. The householder saw a man running after it.”
Hill had jumped into the cab and drove away after the taxi driver got out to find his passenger.
Shortly afterwards, the taxi – a Nissan minibus – was found on its side in a field and witnesses, who described Hill as being drunk, had to pull him from the vehicle through a window.
He claimed he was the passenger and that the driver had run off but police checks confirmed the taxi had been reported stolen.
Defending, Simon Parry said: “He is from a decent family and is thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour. He has apologised to the taxi company. He was made worse because some of his colleagues decided to spike each other’s drinks.”
The taxi company said they had lost £30,000 in revenue because of the incident.
Judge Roger Dutton said: “He could have killed himself – and he could have killed someone else. What he, and other young men in his position, must understand is that behaviour like this will not be tolerated. He has escaped prison by the skin of his teeth.”
Hill received an eight-month sentence for aggravated vehicle taking, suspended for two years, plus a concurrent three-month sentence and an 18-month driving ban for driving with excess alcohol. He must also carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay a £3,000 contribution to the taxi company.
Judge Dutton explained: “I offer my sympathy to the taxi driver. I cannot help him as much as I would like to but I am doing the best I can.”
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