A Wigan schoolboy took his mum’s car in the middle of the night and drove to a fast food restaurant, a court heard.
The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, helped himself to the keys of his mother’s Audi at 3am on May 26 last year, before driving himself and a friend to a nearby McDonald’s for some food.
And he was only caught because a police officer, who had also just been at the same McDonald’s, spotted that the car’s headlights were off.
The officer followed the vehicle for a short time before activating his sirens and signalling for the vehicle to stop, and the driver pulled over. He identified himself and cooperated fully with the officer, who took him home and told the boy’s mum what had happened.
Defending the teenager at Wigan Youth Court, Nick Lloyd revealed that the police were “not critical of the way the car was being driven.”
Mr Lloyd revealed the reason behind this was because the boy had been learning to drive Land Rovers off road as part of a driving school’s vocational courses, but had decided to “use these skills inappropriately.”
Mr Lloyd said the boy had been punished at home in the months following the incident. He had been grounded, had his mobile phone taken from him and access to the internet prohibited.
His pocket money was also stopped so that a small scuff to one of the car wheel’s could be fixed.
“It’s something that’s been learned from, and not something that will happen again,” said Mr Lloyd.
When asked by the magistrates why he had taken the car, the boy said: “I wasn’t thinking. I don’t really know.”
The 15-year-old’s mother, who attended court with her son, told the bench: “Things have improved, especially in the last three months or so. He’s knuckling down now.”
She added: “It was hard for all of us. We seem to have come through it, hopefully.”
The boy pleaded guilty to one count of driving without insurance, and one count of driving without a licence.
He was given a three month referral order to the Youth Offending Team, and his driving licence will be endorsed with six penalty points when he is old enough to apply for one. He must also pay £85 in court costs and a victim surcharge of £21.