Guernsey Press

Took father’s company car while banned from driving

A disqualified driver went joyriding in a car taken without the owner’s consent in the early hours of the morning.

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Kieran McEntee, 22, of La Hure Mare Road, Vale, admitted driving while disqualified, taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, and using a vehicle without insurance.

In 2019 he had been banned for driving for four-and-a-half years for offences which included dangerous driving and failing to stop for police. The ban was due to end on 15 March this year.

Prosecuting Advocate Sarah Watson told the Magistrate’s Court how the defendant’s father worked at a garage and had use of a company BMW which was nearly brand new and for sale. No one else was authorised to use it.

At 3.11am on 13 December last year, ambulance staff reported to police that the vehicle had been seen being driven on L’Ancresse Common. Officers saw it in La Jaonneuse Road going in the opposite direction. They turned to follow and despite accelerating to 40-50mph, the BMW was going faster and they were unable to stop it.

A search of the area commenced and at 3.40am the car was found abandoned on the forecourt of Trev’s Motorcycles at La Route du Passeur. There was no sign of the driver though a debit card belonging to one of his friends was found in the car, along with an opened bottle of vodka.

The indicator and wiper arms had been snapped off and the vehicle was covered in dirt. CCTV recovered from the garage showed the car driving on to the forecourt. The defendant and two occupants got out, with the defendant falling in a puddle as they ran away.

Officers went to his home later and arrested his father. The man said he had not been driving the car but said he knew who had – his son, who was drunk and who had been with his mates. He said his boss would ‘kill him’. A freshly washed light coloured hoodie was recovered from the kitchen and there was a muddy T-shirt in the hall.

McEntee junior was located at Guernsey Airport the following morning. He was on an aircraft having bought a one-way ticket to Gatwick at short notice. He was arrested.

He gave no comment responses to questions in interview and refused to identify himself when shown CCTV footage from the garage.

Defending, Advocate Chris Green said his client denied causing damage to the car and said it had been there before. He had been going through a period of immense family stress at the time.

He was annoyed with himself particularly as this happened so close to the end of his driving ban.

He denied trying the flee the island and said he had been going Christmas shopping with his girlfriend. He had other matters on his record but it was not an extensive one.

Judge Gary Perry told McEntee he would have been warned of the consequences of breaching the court’s disqualification order when it was imposed yet he had still done it.

He jailed him for four months for driving while disqualified with a four-year driving ban. Two months with a one year ban concurrent were meted for taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

A concurrent one-year driving ban was imposed for using a vehicle without insurance.

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