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Joyrider: ‘I need to be locked away’

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A JOYRIDER twice went around the island in cars he had taken from his 88-year-old former landlady, who lived alone, the Royal Court heard yesterday.

Ian Tostevin. (Picture Supplied by Guernsey Police)

In the first instance, Ian Tostevin, 32, tried to set fire to a silver Daihatsu Copen that he had crashed in a dirt track.

On the second occasion, while on bail for the first offence, he walked into the woman’s third-floor lounge as a trespasser after breaking a downstairs window to get in.

He took the keys to her second vehicle – a Ford Ka – which police later tracked down to the Crown Pier. He was found in a nearby bar where he gave a false name. He told officers he would help them find who they were looking for, before being identified as the perpetrator by CCTV, which showed a man matching his description leaving the parked car.

Officers believed Tostevin, an alcoholic, was drunk but at the police station he refused to provide a breath sample.

He sang aloud while being told what to do and repeatedly spat on the floor.

Tostevin, who had previously given his address as Valenton, Victoria Avenue, St Sampson’s, admitted a total of nine offences when appeared in court.

For the Crown, Advocate Rory Calderwood said it was the prosecution case that the defendant had not committed the offences in order to get jailed so he would get help for his drink problem, as he had claimed.

If that had been the case, it would make no sense that he would have put a cloth in the petrol filler of the Daihatsu and tried to set fire to it, and at one court appearance he had sought to get bail.

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The court heard how, in the late afternoon of 2 April this year, a woman who was walking horses at La Route Saumarez, Castel, when the Daihatsu went past. The horn sounded on the vehicle and somebody in the car apologised.

About 20 minutes later the same thing happened again.

The woman saw the Daihatsu almost hit another vehicle and she called the police.

CCTV from about 7.45pm in Victoria Avenue, St Sampson’s, showed drivers changing over in the car.

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The victim noticed that one of her cars was missing at about 11.15pm and the matter was reported to police.

The abandoned vehicle was found in Les Osmonds Lane, St Sampson’s, the next day, where it appeared to have hit a hedge.

On 15 April, Tostevin went to the Police Station and said he had something to confess. He admitted the offences, which he said he had committed while he was drunk.

He said he knew the keys would have been in the car. He drove it all over the island from about 5pm but not could not see properly where he was going because of his drunkenness.

He said he had done ‘a bit of a Colin McRae’ [rally driver] and crashed the car while doing about 60mph, following which it could not be moved. He said he lived life like a rock star – drinking and partying – and he needed to be locked away.

He is an alcoholic and had not managed to abstain from drink for more than three months at any time in the past 10 years.

He maintained he had acted alone.

When shown the CCTV he said he did not recognise the other person.

On the second occasion he entered the woman’s lounge at about 10pm. She said it had made her scared for the first time in her life.

Tostevin told her he wanted to say hello and said she had been like a mother to him. He used to rent one of her spare rooms but she could not recall his name.

She told him that one of her cars had recently been taken.

He asked her to show him where the keys were to the Ford Ka, which was locked. She showed him the keys by the front door as she wanted him out of the house.

He asked for a cup of tea.

He then took a call which he said was from his girlfriend and he needed to get to the hospital as somebody was dying. The woman offered to take him there. She saw that her keys were missing but she did not know if the defendant had gone and she called her daughter, who called the police.

The woman was too scared to return to her home for two days.

Police found a pane of glass in a window had been pushed in, which had caused it to smash.

Tostevin admitted causing criminal damage to the window, the attempted arson of a motor vehicle and failing to provide a breath sample when suspected of being over the drink-drive limit.

He also admitted two counts of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, two of using a vehicle without insurance and two of using a vehicle without a licence.

In 2009, he had been jailed for four months for multiple thefts and deception and had carried out a community service order in 2016 for a benefit offence.

Advocate Phoebe Cobb said the offences had been committed while her client was in a desperate state of mind and he wanted to be remanded in custody.

Alcohol was impairing his ability to think straight.

He had sought the help of his GP and various other services that had not helped significantly and he was seeking a detox in Les Nicolles.

He was drinking cans of alcohol plus strong spirits on a daily basis, yet was still functioning. Life growing up had not been easy for him.

Judge Russell Finch said Guernsey people would strongly disapprove of this type of behaviour.

The woman had declined to make a victim impact statement and had merely voiced her disappointment and concern for the defendant at what he had done, which was very charitable of her.

Tostevin was jailed for a total of five years and banned from driving for 10 years.

Nigel Baudains

By Nigel Baudains
News reporter

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