Banned Sheffield driver jailed over crash

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A banned driver who took a car without the owner’s consent, then crashed it into three vehicles and a house in a Christmas Day smash, has been locked up.

The family inside the house on Chancet Wood View, Meadowhead, Sheffield, heard an ‘almighty crash’ - and two young children playing in the front room were showered with plaster and dust.

Stephen Wilde, aged 22, then ‘scarpered’ after causing over £15,000 worth of damage when he careered around a sharp bend and crashed into three parked cars.

Sheffield Crown Court heard he’d been at a party in Gleadless, and had taken the owner’s Renault Clio without her consent so he could drop his dog off at his home in Lowedges.

Wilde, who was banned from driving and uninsured at the time, was driving too fast and failed to negotiate the 90 degree bend, said Brian Outhwaite, prosecuting.

“En route back to his address he lost control driving too fast around the corner and collided with a fence, went into a yard, and collided with three cars and a bay window.

“The cars belonged to the O’Neil family and included a Fiat Punto which was written off, a Peugeot which was also written off, and a Jeep which cost £2,000 to repair.

“The Clio was also a write-off - the estimated cost of the damage, including the fencing and damage to a bay window, was £15,600,” Mr Outhwaite added.

“When the family went outside and found the damage caused to the vehicles they found the Renault abandoned by the driver, who had made off,” he added.

Wilde, a former Silverdale School pupil, of Low Edges Crescent, Lowedges, handed himself in to the police five weeks later.

He admitted aggravated vehicle taking, failing to report an accident, using a vehicle without insurance, and driving while disqualified.

The court heard he was banned from driving for a previous offence of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent when he was 19.

Jailing him for eight months, Judge Alan Goldsack QC said: “You must have been going at a speed wholly excessive for the road.

“It would have been a very frightening experience for all those people - and not what they what they expected to happen on Christmas afternoon.”

He added: “I’m very suspicious you had been drinking. You were probably over the limit at the time, but you didn’t own up or go to the police.

“You scarpered and it was about five weeks later that perhaps your conscience got the better of you and you handed yourself in - but it was far too late to breathalyse you.”

Wilde was also banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a £400 victim surcharge.