Jailed for taking mum’s car to help friend whose house was on fire

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A MAN has been jailed after he took his mother’s car without her consent to help a friend who had a fire in his home.

Thomas Cormack took his mum’s car after he had received a call from a friend whose house was on fire in Masefield Road, Hartlepool.

Teesside Crown Court heard his friend asked him to take his family to a place of safety after the blaze.

The motoring offence put him in breach of a suspended prison sentence and comes as Cormack failed to comply with court orders on 11 different occasions in the past.

Cormack’s lawyer said that his mum was in court supporting him after his arrest in mid July.

Prosecutor Paul Lee told Teesside Crown Court that Cormack, 25, was driving her car when police stopped him at 11.30pm on July 17 on Moorhen Road, Hartlepool, where his parents lived.

The car should have been at their home and when police spoke to his mother she said that he had taken it without consent.

Mr Lee said that Cormack admitted taking it without permission and without holding a licence and insurance.

He had previous convictions and he was subject to a suspended six months prison sentence order imposed just weeks before on June 18 for producing cannabis.

He was caught growing cannabis worth £27,000 in three grow areas at a town centre house on January 8.

Jim Withyman, mitigating, said that Cormack’s future was stable because his mother was in court supporting him, he had a partner and a job to start in Billingham in a fortnight. He said that Cormack was a bright young man with good educational qualifications who made foolish mistakes and decisions.

Referring to Cormack taking the car to help his friend who had been affected by a house fire, Mr Withyman told the judge: “He realises now that he should have thought and could not do that.

“He is on the cusp of making some changes in his life and things are improving for him. In the circumstances I ask that he be given a final chance.”

Judge Michael Taylor told Cormack that the offences alone were not very serious but he had failed to comply with court orders on 11 previous occasions.

The judge said: “You were very fortunate to be given a suspended sentence given the amount of money involved.

“I have no doubt that the judge gave you a very clear warning what would happen to you if you breached that sentence. I regret that I have little choice.”

Cormack of Moorhen Road, Hartlepool, was jailed for nine months, disqualified for two years and until he passes an extended driving test after he pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without consent, driving without a licence and insurance and breach of a suspended sentence.