An unlicensed and uninsured convicted drug-driver weaved between lanes while taking his £300 car for a spin at 3.30am.
Nathan Wilson, 24, was spotted motoring erratically by police near his home in Wensleydale Avenue, Penshaw, Sunderland.
They tailed him and watched as he parked the newly bought 2004-plate Peugeot 307 on his drive – and snared him before he exited.
The baby-faced vehicle DIY enthusiast intended to repair it and flog it for more than double the purchase price, a court was told.
But Wilson, who has two previous drug-driving convictions, is now out of pocket after police seized his wheels – and it will be scrapped.
Prosecutor Marc Atkins told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: “Officers were on patrol in Sunderland.
“They saw a Peugeot which was being driven erratically and between the lanes, and increasing its speed and then slowing.
“They saw the car pull onto a driveway and stop. The driver was in the driver’s seat, and they spoke to him.
“He admitted that he was uninsured and only had a provisional licence. He was taken into custody and interviewed
“He said he had no licence or insurance but denied that he had been driving without due care and attention.”
The court heard Wilson has five previous convictions for 11 offences, including two for drug-driving, both sentenced on the same day in April 2017.
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Neil Hodgson, defending, said: “He realises that he shouldn’t have been driving the car.
“A few months ago, his dad, who was an HGV driver, died of a massive heart attack.
“His girlfriend had just given birth, although the relationship has broken down, and he had moved back in with his mum.
“He then became the man of the house. He was trying to fix the relationship that had broken down and help his mum.
“He bought this car because he thought he should contribute more towards the family.
“It cost £300 but it’s been expensive for him. He was going to do it up and sell for about £800. The police seized the car.
“He wanted to go for a drive. It was 3am, he’s not the best driver, he hasn’t passed his test.”
Wilson pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, driving without insurance and driving without a licence on Saturday, February 13.
For the no insurance charge, he was given eight penalty points and fined £120, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.
There were no separate penalties for the other offences.