Community service for man who took car and ‘drove like an idiot’

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Dominic Alexander James Ball, of Grande Route de St Pierre, St Peter, admitted taking and driving away a vehicle without the consent of the owner, driving without due care and attention, driving without insurance and drink-driving.

The 20-year-old took the blue Ford Fiesta in the early hours of 20 May after finding the keys on the roof of the vehicle. He initially drove around the nightspot car park before going on to the road.

Relief Magistrate Sarah Fitz said it was ‘ironic’ that the defendant had been attending a charity event at the Watersplash which was raising money for a young man who had been hurt in a car crash.

The event was the Peas and Glove festival which is held each year in honour of Olly Newman – a young surfer and musician who was left permanently immobilised after a car crash on the Five Mile Road in 2015.

Centenier John Camara said that when the defendant got into the car he said he was going to drive it to Faulkner Fisheries ‘for a laugh’. Ball admitted he drove ‘like an idiot’ before crashing the car about 2.55 am on Route des Havres.

The Centenier said that a member of the public saw the crashed vehicle and called the police. When breathalysed at Police headquarters Ball gave a reading of 62 mcg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcg.

Advocate Paul Nicolle, defending, said the defendant suffered minor injuries and the other passengers were unhurt.

He said that Ball fully accepted his actions were irresponsible but added that the defendant was ‘entirely candid and honest’ and had demonstrated genuine contrition.

The lawyer said that Ball was likely to lose his job as he drives vehicles on the airfield side of the Airport. The court was also told that Ball had given cash to the owner of the Fiesta to pay for the damage.

In sentencing, Mrs Fitz said this was a serious incident but she could avoid a prison sentence as the offence was out of character. She said that she had also seen some excellent references and that the defendant behaved appropriately after the accident happened.

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