Dover driver Gary Smith 'thought he was Lewis Hamilton' during stolen car rampage
A drunken son who swiped his mum’s car keys before
embarking on a destructive joy ride has landed himself in prison -
after she shopped him to police.
Rookie driver Gary Smith, 21, wrote off the stolen Peugeot and
three other cars after swiping the keys from her handbag and racing
off through the quiet streets of Adisham.
Canterbury Crown Court heard he hit one car so hard he flipped
it onto its roof, later telling police: "I felt like Lewis
Hamilton!" (pictured right)
Smith initially escaped arrest after denying any responsibility,
but his despairing mum called police after he confessed all in a
He appeared in court and admitted aggravated vehicle taking and
driving without a licence and insurance.
Prosecutor Wayne Cleavor told how Smith had been subjected to
ridicule because he hadn’t passed his driving test.
He took his mum’s keys during an event at Adisham village hall
and drove along The Street in April last year after drinking.
Mr Cleavor said: “After taking the car Smith hadn’t driven far
before he collided with a Skoda, which had been parked in a bay for
the disabled – that was written off at a cost of £4,000.
“But he just continued on his way down The Street and collided
with a Nissan – striking it with such force it flipped onto its
roof,” he added.
"I felt like Lewis Hamilton!" – rookie driver Gary Smith
Even then, Smith
carried on, hitting a Ford Ka, causing £945 worth of damage and
then writing off his mum’s Peugeot at a cost of £6,000.
Despite the havoc, Smith was neither breathalysed nor arrested
at the scene after claiming someone else was responsible.
“Your driving posed a clear and present danger to other road
users and you showed a lack of concern to others.”
Smith’s car struck a car almost immediately after setting off in
Adisham – but he didn’t stop and instead drove faster.
Judge Simon James said: “Your speed was such that when you
hit another car, you struck it with such force you tipped it onto
"It was, quite frankly, only through miraculous good fortune
that someone was not seriously injured by your selfish and reckless
behaviour – especially as you had a passenger with you at the
He said that Smith, of St Martins Emmaus, Archcliffe Fort,
Dover, had tried to blame others after the crashes, adding: “I find
it somewhat difficult to conclude that your admissions are
accompanied by genuine remorse and contrition.
Driver Gary Smith was
jailed at Canterbury Crown Court
“Anyone who drives on a public road and puts innocent people at
risk crosses a line and must expect to go to custody.”
He jailed him for 12 months and disqualified him from driving
for two years.
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