A LEARNER driver pensioner who took his wife’s car without her permission was ‘fearful’ of her reaction after he crashed it following a drinking session.
Retired miner Eric Stringer, 69, lost control of the Red Rover 75 after drinking three pints at a club with his friends, Wakefield and Pontefract Magistrates’ Court heard.
The car hit the gate and fence of a house on Bailey Crescent at South Elmsall, near Pontefract, just after 4pm on Sunday January 12.
The homeowner seized Mr Stringer’s car keys and took him inside the house while police arrived.
Prosecutor, Diane Gomersall, said Mr Stringer – who is provisional driving licence holder – had taken his wife Elaine’s car to the club where he plays in the snooker team as he wanted to pay his subs.
But when he got there he bumped in to friends and stayed for a drink.
Stringer, who has no previous convictions, told police he couldn’t successfully blow in to a breathalyser because he suffers from asthma. And he would not give permission for officers to take a blood sample.
Stringer, of Thomas Way, South Elmsall, admitted aggravating vehicle taking, failing to provide a specimen, driving without a licence and driving without insurance. He told police he hit the fence and gate – causing minor damage – after swerving to avoid another car,
Mitigating, Emma Covington, said: “His wife has forgiven him for taking the vehicle. He was fearful of her reaction when he got home, but they seem to have patched things up. He has promised her he won’t do anything so stupid again and she has accepted that. He has asked me to apologise for his stupid actions.”
Bench chairman Howard Tate told Stringer: “One of the charges being aggravated vehicle taking, we did expect a young thug to be coming in rather than yourself.”
Stringer was banned from driving for 12 months, fined £300 and ordered to pay £85 costs.