Drink driver wrecked sister’s ‘pride and joy’

A YOUNG driver who had not passed his test crashed his sister’s car after drinking vodka.

James Clarke, 21, had taken the Mini Cooper without permission to drive his friend home for his 8pm curfew, a court heard.

But he lost control of the £10,000 vehicle – his elder sister’s “pride and joy” – in Wakefield Road, Copley, Halifax.

Heather Gilmore, prosecuting, said: “The car hit a VW Golf then crashed into a stone wall with such force the engine flew into the opposite carriageway.”

Both drivers were taken to hospital.

A blood test on Clarke four hours later revealed 84mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood – just over the legal limit. He admitted aggravated vehicle taking, drink driving and having no licence or insurance.

Ken Green, mitigating, said his client was a hard-working plasterer with no previous convictions. “He took the car out of a misguided sense of loyalty to his friend.”

Clarke’s sister, with whom he lives at Green Royd, Greetland, was in court to see him sentenced.

Recorder Simon Jackson QC imposed an 18-month community order, a two-month curfew and 200 hours’ unpaid work. Clarke was also banned from driving for 12 months and fined £250.

Mr Jackson QC said: “So often men of your age develop a fatalistic obsession with driving.”