Sunderland teenager stole pal’s van then drove it into a wall

A wet around the ears Sunderland teenager pinched a pal’s van as he showered – then drove it into a wall.

Ellis Hodgson, 19, who did not have insurance or a driving licence, blamed a tyre blow out for the smash.

He swiped the keys to the Vauxhall Combo after his friend popped to freshen up at 3pm on Sunday, August 15, a court heard.

But soon after, Hodgson slammed the motor into a garden wall near Asda’s store at Pennywell.

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The crash cost an estimated £2,000 in brickwork repairs, and also damaged the £700 motor.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck said Hodgson, of Aboyne Square, Farringdon, told the shocked householder, “I don’t know what happened.

“I was only driving at 20mph. My tyre must have blown.”

Mrs Beck added: “The van’s owner says he has known the defendant since they were young children.

“He was at his home with Ellis, his van was parked outside and was in good working order.

“He went upstairs to have a shower and returned downstairs to find his friend had gone and his van was missing.

“He thought someone had stolen his van and he went to check for his keys.

“He then received a call from the defendant, who said that he had taken the van and had crashed it.

“It had mounted the pavement and hit the wall.”

Hodgson, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

Defence solicitor Charlton Carr said only that a pre-sentence report was needed.

Magistrates adjourned the case for a report and handed Hodgson an interim driving ban.

He will be sentenced at the same court on Tuesday, January 4.

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Chronicle Live – Sunderland