A SON who took his father's BMW and crashed it after an evening of drinking, has been sentenced by magistrates.

Bradley John Meredith appeared before magistrates in Hereford for sentencing after entering guilty pleas to charges of taking a vehicle without the owner's consent, driving without a licence or insurance, and drink-driving at an earlier hearing.

Police were called to a BMW crashed into a tree in Rowlestone, Herefordshire, at 11.40pm on February 9, prosecutor Eleanor Peart said at Meredith's plea hearing.


The officers had been called to the scene by the car's owner, Meredith's father, after an emergency alert was sent to him by the car, the court heard.

On arrival, they found the damaged car resting on an embankment, while Meredith, who was sitting in the passenger seat, admitted taking it.

He told officers that he had been drinking at his father's house and had taken the car after his father had gone to bed, and admitted that he did not have a licence and had never had a driving lesson.

An evidential breath test taken in custody revealed that Meredith, who said he is alcohol-dependent, had 95 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Emma Thorne, for Meredith, said that the 22-year-old had made full and frank admissions at the roadside and that he has apologised to his father.

"He had been staying with his father that weekend and they had both gone to bed," Mrs Thorne said.

"For reasons unknown, to him, he woke up and decided to take the car. He drove a short distance before crashing."

Mrs Thorne said Meredith knows he drinks too much and that he is engaging with drug and alcohol services.

Meredith, of Station Road, Abergavenny, was handed a 15-month community order, disqualified from driving for 24 months, and fined a total of £200. 

He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £50 and a £114 victim surcharge.