An impulsive prank outside a Calne pub led to an 18-year-old being brought before the courts and banned from driving.

Curtis Anderson, of Curzon Street, pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance, and taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Swindon Magistrates' Court heard Anderson had seen that the keys had been left in the ignition of a friend’s car and then took it for a spin as a joke. In doing so, he unwittingly committed three crimes.

Keith Ballinger, prosecuting, explained that the defendant and his friends were outside The Wheatsheaf pub on Sunday, February 11 when the complainant parked his silver Ford Fiesta opposite the pub and approached the group.

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He added: “The defendant crossed the road and hopped into the driver’s side of the vehicle and drove down the road, went around the roundabout and came back.

“He did not have permission to take the vehicle. There was a passenger in the front seat.”

Anderson had been disqualified from driving last December for other matters such as careless driving and failing to stop after an accident.

In mitigation, Moses Uzodima-Tawo described Anderson as “a very silly boy” who did not realise the amount of trouble this 100-metre jaunt would cause.

Uzodima-Tawo added: “It did not occur to him that this was considered driving while disqualified.

"He forgot his thinking skills in his own silly way and needs as much help as he can with them.

“Without thinking things through, he decided to wind the complainant up, there was no intention to actually go anywhere.

“He has since realised his foolishness, he is remorseful and has apologised to the complainant.

"It’s a case of a young man acting out his age. He has learned a lot from this, he has a good head on his shoulders.”

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A good reference from the young man's employer supported his solicitor's claim.

Anderson received a new community order that requires him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the next 18 months and take part in up to 10 rehabilitation activity days.

His driving ban will last for 12 more months and he must pay £85 in court costs as well as £114 to fund victim services.

A magistrate concluded: "You ]Anderson] are dancing on the edge of a criminal career, in terms of driving offences. You don't want to continue down this road."