A DRUNK soldier had never been behind the wheel until he crashed his friend’s car after fulfilling his driving ‘fantasy'.

Callum Kinsella admitted aggravating vehicle taking following the crash outside the University of Worcester when he appeared before city magistrates yesterday. The 18-year-old of Ombersley Road, Worcester is now enlisted in the Army, based at barracks in Edinburgh. He crashed his friend’s Volkswagen Polo on Boxing Day last year when he was 17 and had no licence and no insurance. Though no figure for the damage was provided it was said to be ‘under £5,000’. The car was bought for £8,000.

Kerry Lovegrove, prosecuting, said Kinsella had been drinking in a friend’s flat but by around 2am his friend had fallen asleep and the defendant took his car keys from the sofa. He 'crashed into Worcester university railings in Hylton Road' before he 'fled the scene'. Kinsella was interviewed by police, telling them he had never driven a car before, stalled it at first but got used to driving by going up and down the alleyway. “He said it was his fantasy to drive and decided to take it out on the road” said Miss Lovegrove.

However, he lost control and crashed into a fence and though he did not have permission to drive he told officers he believed his friend would have allowed him to - had he been awake.

Kinsella told officers he would pay for the damage. “He thought his friend might have found it funny he crashed the car” she said.

Chris Hilton, defending, said Kinsella had entered a timely guilty plea, asking for him to be given maximum credit. He said 'adverse' action would be taken by the Army, as well as by the court itself, and so he would get ‘two penalties’.

Because the defendant is now based at Edinburgh Mr Hilton said: “Scotland is a different legal jurisdiction. Of course they can do community type penalties but there are hurdles to overcome to transfer the sentence imposed in England and Wales to Scotland.”

Magistrates said they did not want to see his opportunity in the Army ‘effectively obliterated as a consequence of one act that you regret and are remorseful for’.They imposed the highest fine they could for his means - £1,500, ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £150 and a contribution to costs of £135.

They also banned him from driving for 12 months.