Hartlepool teen downed 20 pints, took minibus on joyride and crashed into wall of family home

Teesside Crown Court.
Teesside Crown Court.

A teenager who took off in his stepdad’s minibus after downing 20 pints and crashed into his own garden wall has been locked up.

Sean Cambridge, 19, who has no licence, said he was “in a bad place” when he drove off in the Ford Transit minibus from the family home in Oakland Avenue, Hartlepool, just after midnight.

After driving round the block he returned home, but crashed into the garden wall.

He then went inside and picked up a six-inch kitchen knife before leaving the house again, prompting his worried family to call the police.

Officers threatened him with a Taser before Cambridge threw down the weapon and gave himself up.

He was sentenced to 18 months’ detention in a young offenders’ institution when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court.

A year of the sentence imposed was for two previous assaults for which he had been spared custody with suspended sentences.

Describing the incident at 12.30am on July 6, prosecutor Jenny Haigh said: “The defendant was at home with his mother and stepfather.

“He took the keys to his stepfather’s work vehicle which were in his bedroom.

“He drove around the block then returned to the address and crashed through the garden wall of the home, causing damage to the wall and the motor vehicle.

“He was drunk and in a distressed condition.”

After leaving with the knife, police found him round the corner in Ventnor Avenue.

Ms Haigh added: “The red dot Taser was put on him and when he was told to show his hands he threw the knife down and complied with the officers.

“In interview, he explained he had been in a bad place.”

He told police he had drank about 20 pints over the course of the day and was found to be twice the drink drive limit when tested after his arrest.

Cambridge, of Oakland Avenue, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, drink driving, possession of a blade, and having no licence or insurance.

In mitigation, Jim Withyman said: “He has a very supportive family. He realises he’s let them down, he’s let himself down.

“He has embarked on a criminal lifestyle, he knows in his heart he isn’t a criminal and he wishes to change that.

“He is sorry for what he has done.”

Judge Howard Crowson said: “It was a very foolish thing to do considering you had no driving licence or insurance and in your state of mind you shouldn’t have been on the road.”

Cambridge was also banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay a £180 court charge.