Teen stole keys and crashed car

First published in News

A SWANSEA Valley teen crashed the car of his friend’s foster parent after stealing the keys while burgling the parent’s property.

Keiran David Wathan, of 24 Gwentnant in Cwmllynfell, appeared before Llanelli magistrates to admit five charges including burglary and theft, taking a vehicle without permission, driving without a licence or insurance and drink-driving.

Ellie Morgan, prosecuting, described how police were contacted at 10pm on November 2 and warned of a vehicle being driven erratically through Lower Cwmtwrch.

“The witness said the vehicle was swerving all over the road and on a couple of occasions clipped the kerbs,” said Ms Morgan.

Fifteen minutes later, Sarah Hansen contacted officers to report that a “small van” had crashed into the back of her Honda Civic outside her home, causing extensive damage to both vehicles.

A neighbour described how, on hearing the crash, he sawthe van revving its engine and driving away in a cloud of tyre smoke.

Police soon discovered a Citroen Berlingo van with 19-year-old Wathan sitting in the passenger seat on nearby Cwmphil Road.

Wathan initially claimed the driver had run away.

He then attempted to flee but was quickly caught.

Tests showed he had 46 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

The Berlingo was traced to Michael Smalley of Ystradowen who was woken by police unaware his vehicle had been taken.

Mr Smalley told officers Wathan was a friend of his foster daughter.

In interview, Wathan told police he had been drinking with friends before going to Mr Smalley’s property looking for the girl.

When there was no answer he went to the rear of the property and, finding the door unlocked, went inside.

There he found Mr Smalley’s keys and took them before driving off in the car.

Defence solicitor Steve Lloyd offered no mitigation and magistrates decided to send the case to Swansea Crown Court for sentencing on January 11.

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