A SPEEDING teen danger driver who crashed into two West Cumbria homes, causing more than £23,000 damage, has been branded “a fool” by a judge.
Eighteen-year-old Jamie Meek was neither insured nor a full licence holder when he lost control of a Vauxhall Vectra he took from his mother without permission on July 26 last year.
One householder at Row Brow in Dearham heard a “loud bang” at around 5-30pm, finding that Meek had careered into his home. A front brick wall, other brickwork, a window and outdoor light were damaged, resulting in a £5,000 insurance repair claim.
Meek also crashed into the conservatory of a house occupied by a wheelchair-bound man who’d recently been diagnosed with motor neurone disease, and which was left “unsafe and uninhabitable”. “That conservatory was the main access for him in and out of the property,” Julian Goode told Carlisle Crown Court. “The three-month period to rebuild it caused him distress.”
That cost £17,000 while £1,500 damage was caused to a nearby lamppost.
Judge Peter Davies observed Meek had been “utterly honest” in the immediate crash aftermath, admitting he was uninsured and without a licence. The teen told police he’d driven at 50mph in the 30mph area with four passengers aged under 18 in the car, and that he was “not in a fit state” to be behind the wheel. “My driving was horrendous,” he confessed.
Brendan Burke, defending, said of Meek – who’d since passed his test: “It is an act of immature and youthful folly for a young man of good character who is hard-working.”
Meek, of Lonsdale Terrace, Crosby Villa, admitted dangerous driving, driving without insurance and otherwise than in accordance with a licence, and aggravated vehicle taking. He was given a two-year community order and must complete 200 hours’ unpaid work, an 18-month driving ban and extended re-test, and pay insurance excess compensation.
“You are extremely lucky,” said Judge Davies. “You could have killed four people in your car.” The judge concluded: “You are a fool.”