Crash wrecks teenager's sports career

By Patrick LowmanA TEENAGER wrote-off his friend's father's powerful sports car after taking it without consent and crashing it into a wall at high speed.

By Patrick Lowman

A TEENAGER wrote-off his friend's father's powerful sports car after taking it without consent and crashing it into a wall at high speed.

Aran Henderson, 19, was left with horrific injuries as a result of the crash, which has wrecked his promising sports career.

Henderson appeared before magistrates yesterday and pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, driving without insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a driving licence on July 6.

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He also admitted causing criminal damage at Sudbury Police Station at an earlier date.

The court heard Henderson, of Humphrey Road, Sudbury, had been at a friend's house in the Chilton area of the town when he had decided to take the red Mitsubishi 3000 GTD without permission.

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He drove the sports car along East Street at about 1am, past Acton Lane before losing control and crashing into a brick wall in Waldingfield Road.

The £9,000 car was a write-off and Henderson was taken to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds for treatment.

Henderson spent two weeks in hospital and needed four pins inserted into a broken leg. He also suffered irreparable damage to one of his lungs and will be scarred for life.

Clare Forsdike, prosecuting, told Sudbury magistrates one witness estimated the car had been travelling at a speed of about 70mph in 30mph zone, but Henderson claimed he had been driving at about 50mph.

The court also heard Henderson had damaged a glass shield at Sudbury Police Station on June 29 after he had been made to wait for more than an hour-and-a-half to see a friend who was at the station.

Nick Jack, mitigating, said Henderson still needed crutches to get around and the injuries he had suffered in the crash had wiped out a promising sports career.

Before the accident Henderson had represented the south of England at basketball and Suffolk at hockey, but he will never be able to play sport again because of his injuries.

Mr Jack said Henderson had stopped drinking alcohol and had learned his lesson. “This was an incredibly foolish and incredibly reckless act and it has acted as a wake-up call for him,” he added.

Henderson was sentenced to a 12-month community rehabilitation order and a four-month curfew between 7pm and 7am.

He was also given a 12-month driving ban and will have to retake his driving test when the ban is complete.

Henderson was further ordered to pay £350 in compensation to the car owner and £926 for the damage he caused at Sudbury Police Station.

Sentencing him, chairman of the bench, Richard Kemp, told Henderson: “You have missed custody by a very narrow margin. This is a very serious offence, you drove that vehicle very dangerously in the community.”

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