Teenage drink driver jailed after accident

A TEENAGE drink driver who wrote off a car, which was its owner’s pride and joy, has been jailed for 15 months.

Jimmy Lowe was drinking in the back of the BMW when his friend made threats to the car’s owner, saying Lowe should have a go behind the wheel.

When the 19-year-old was in the driver’s seat he went around the Parks area at high speed before writing off the car in a crash with a stationary vehicle.

And during the ride Lowe, who was more than twice the limit, ran over his friend after getting the car stuck on a verge.

Lowe was with Connor Gallagher and two other friends at the Greenbridge Retail Park when another teenager arrived in a BMW 316 he had just bought for £500.

Claire Marlow, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the four got into the car with the owner on the evening of March 25 after demanding a ride in it.

After a while Gallagher told the car's owner “Get out, let Jimmy drive,” and when he refused the 18-year-old threatened to stab him and his family.

Lowe then sped off, hitting kerbs and going across grass verges, at one point leaving debris behind at a roundabout.

She said: “Ultimately it crashed into a Honda Jazz in Axbridge Close where neighbours heard the noise and saw a number of people running off, including the driver.

“He was found cowering behind a bin in Whitbourne Avenue, smelling of alcohol.”

At the police station he was found to be just over twice the legal limit and also did not have a full licence.

Lowe, of Bowleymead, Eldene, admitted aggravated taking without consent, drink driving, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and without insurance.

The court heard although he didn’t have a full licence he had six points at the time of the offence and had been banned in the past.

He has two previous convictions for aggravated taking without consent and one for taking without consent as well as many other convictions.

Tony Bignall, defending, said his client had been in custody since his arrest and appeared an utterly broken man.

Judge Douglas Field said: “The vehicle you took is a write off and it was the pride and joy of the owner.”

He jailed him for 15 months and banned him from the road for two years and until he passes an extended test.

Gallagher, 18, of Crispin Close, Stratton, was jailed for nine months in June after he admitted aggravated taking without consent.

At that hearing the court was told the car ran over his leg as he helped push it off a grass verge, leaving him needing hospital treatment.

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