A MOTORIST who hit almost twice the speed limit in central Whitehaven in a car stolen from a friend has been spared immediate prison.
Lee Anthony Blinco, 32, was effectively homeless at a time of domestic upheaval on June 6. A woman allowed him to stay at her home but, after she and her partner went to bed, Blinco took the keys for a Peugeot and drove off.
Police followed him in Whitehaven town centre as he travelled the wrong way along a one-way street, through red lights and travelled at 56mph.
He then stopped the car – later scrapped by its owner – and ran off but failed to apply the handbrake. “The vehicle rolled backwards down the road and collided with a bollard,” said prosecutor Gerard Rogerson.
Blinco admitted dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, no insurance and failing to provide a breath specimen for analysis.
After hearing mitigation about Blinco’s turbulent personal circumstances at the time of his offending, Judge James Adkin suspended a nine-month jail term for two years.
Blinco, of Lakeland Avenue, Whitehaven, must complete rehabilitation, serve an 18-month driving ban and pass an extended test.