‘Wound-up’ son crashed father’s car into tree after argument about phone
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An unlicensed, uninsured motorist – twice banned for drink-driving – took his father’s car and crashed it into a tree following an argument.
Joshua Jones admitted taking a vehicle without consent and driving it without a licence or insurance at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Monday.
The 36-year-old appeared in custody the morning after crashing his father's Volkswagen Sharan into a tree on Cranley Green Road, near Eye, at about noon last Sunday.
Prosecutor Lesla Small said Jones failed a roadside breath test before being taken to hospital for treatment to minor injuries, but later gave an evidential reading within the legal alcohol limit.
"His father confirmed there had been an argument," she added.
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"Mr Jones left after saying to his father 'you realise this is your fault'. His father then heard revving of an engine and saw his son drive off.
"Mr Jones said his father had taken his phone while it was charging and refused to return it.
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"He said he wanted to spite his dad by taking his keys.
"He hit a bump in the road, then hit a kerb, causing him to overcompensate and hit a tree.
"He said he probably would have driven back and apologised, had he not crashed."
Jones' licence expired following a disqualification for his second drink-driving conviction in 2016.
David Allan, mitigating, said Jones had been fully co-operative with police and had made full admissions in interview.
"He gave a clear account of what happened, accepted wrongdoing and expressed genuine remorse.
"It arose from a silly argument over his father taking away his mobile phone, for reasons which remain unclear.
"It's fair to say they rather wound each other up.
"It was very much a spur of the moment reaction."
Mr Allan said Jones had temporarily moved in with his father following the breakdown of a relationship, loss of employment and resumption of some degree of drug misuse.
Jones, who normally resides in Bay View Road, Northam, north Devon, was handed a community order for 12 months, with 80 hours of unpaid work and up to 25 rehabilitation activity days.
He was banned from driving for eight months, and his licence endorsed for driving without insurance.