An Ammanford teen who was passenger in a car taken without consent which crashed in Betws returned to the scene of the accident to ensure his pal was not forced to shoulder all the blame.
Benjamin Paul Allen, of 19 Wernoleu Road, appeared before Llanelli magistrates to admit aggravated vehicle taking and causing damage to the vehicle following the incident in the early hours of December 7.
Gerald Neave, prosecuting, told the court how a taxi driver had contacted police at 3.30am to report a road accident on Colonel Road.
When officers attended the scene they found a Renault Twingo with severe front end damage which had collided with a wall in Park Street.
The taxi driver was able to identify the driver of the car as Mark Thomas, however the vehicle had been abandoned by the time officers arrived.
When they searched the scene they found Thomas hiding nearby.
Allen, aged 18, had initially fled the scene, but returned soon after.
He approached police and said: “I’m guilty. I’ve come back so I can share the blame.”
The court was told how Allen and Thomas had gone drinking in Ammanford town centre with the car’s owner Thomas Maunder and the latter’s girlfriend. Mr Maunder had left the keys to the vehicle at Thomas’ mother’s property.
Mr Neave described how the foursome had eventually been separated and Thomas and Allen returned to Thomas’ mother’s home, where both planned to stay the night.
“When they got home they decided to go for a spin in Mr Maunder’s car, which was parked in the car park of the Cooper’s Arms,” he said.
The pair had only driven a short distance before they crashed into the wall.
Clare Sherwood, defending, said Allen fully admitted his role in the incident.
“He wants to take responsibility for his part in the offence,” said Ms Sherwood. “He fully partook in the taking of the vehicle.
“Had he been sober this offence would never have occurred,” she told the court. “Drinking lowered his thought processes and made him do something really stupid.
“What makes it all the worse is that this vehicle belonged to his friend.”
She told the court that Thomas and Allen had already agreed to pay the vehicle’s excess insurance costs.
Thomas was made subject to a community order at an earlier hearing after pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated vehicle taking.
Allen was made the subject of a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 legal surcharge.
He was also ordered to pay half of the £500 bill to repair damage caused to the wall and banned from driving for 12 months.