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Home Thanet News Article
Crafty chef Aaron Dunsby feigned surprise when his pal’s new Vauxhall Corsa vanished from outside his Margate home.
The 24-year-old and a mate - who had both slept at the home - claimed they were baffled where Ashley Gracie’s vehicle had gone while the keys were on the floor!
But the excuse that the Margate cook concocted failed to fool the police...who had found his DNA on the airbags of the smashed up vehicle.
And six days later the learner driver, who had only been behind the wheel of a car once before, confessed he had swiped the keys while the owner slept.
He had then taken the brand new Corsa on a crash, bang, wallop trip in Eastern Esplanade.
Mr Gracie’s car -which he had owned for just two weeks - had been smashed into three parked vehicles in Margate.
Now Dunsby, of The Broadway, Broadstairs has been jailed for nine months after admitted aggravated vehicle taking, drink driving and driving without a licence and without insurance.
Prosecutor Dominic Connolly told Canterbury Crown Court how Dunsby and a pal had gone out with Mr Gracie in August, who had returned and parked the Corsa outside his home.
“He left the car keys in his trouser pocket. The defendant and his friend were staying at the house and had a door key to let themselves in.
“When Mr Gracie woke up the following morning he couldn’t find his car keys and it was pointed out they were on the lounge floor. But when he went out to get his car it was not there and Dunsby and his friend denied all knowledge about its disappearance, “ he added.
The theft was reported to police who broke the news that the smashed up vehicle had been found after the accident in the early hours of the morning at Eastern Esplanade.
The prosecutor told how the Corsa had ploughed into a parked Renault Megane - which had been up for sale for £2,600.
Two other cars - a £7,000 Citroen which had been bought just 10 days earlier and Masda - were also damaged in the accident.
The Megane,Citroen and Corsa were all written off and the Mazda needed £1,000 worth of repairs.
Andrew Espley told the court that Dunsby had suffered a cut arm and whiplash in the crash.
He added: “Some may say, rather harshly but probably fairly...serves him right. But after initially lying, six days later he went to the police station and admitted what had happened.”
He asked for a suspended sentence but Judge Simon James told Dunsby: “You drove intoxicated in what was effectively a stolen car which was in collision with a number of cars, one of which was parked on a bay for the disabled. This was reckless and dangerous conduct because you had little or no driving experience.
“This car was also taken in a breach of trust which you drove, as you admit, while you were very intoxicated making the offence even more serious.”
After jailing him, the judge also banned Dunsby from driving for three years and ordered him to take an extended test before he can hold a licence.
He added: “Right-minded people would think it unacceptable that somebody causing this level of damage while driving a car drunk would not end up in custody.”
At an earlier hearing before magistrates, a second man was given a community order after admitting allowing himself to be carried in a stolen vehicle.
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