AN 18-YEAR-OLD man who had never been behind the wheel drove from Winwick to Woolston with the hand brake.

Lloyd Broadhurst, of Beckett Drive, Winwick, had taken his dad’s Mercedes company car despite not having a licence, to run from drug dealers he owed money to.

Halton Magistrates Court heard on Monday he was intending to drive to the Lake District following threats against him and his family over cannabis debts.

Richard Sealy, prosecuting, said leaving the electronic hand brake on had ruined the car’s wheels and disk brakes, causing just under £5,000 worth of damage.

The defendant contacted police himself at 2.30am after coming to a halt in Woolston on April 16, this year.

Mr Sealy said the car belonged to the employers of his dad, who works as a supermarket manager.

Broadhurst pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, vehicle damage under £5,000, using a motor vehicle with no insurance, and driving other than in accordance with a licence.

He has two previous convictions for possession of cannabis, and assault on a police constable, both ending in reprimands.

The court heard his dad, present in court, had paid off his son’s drug debt.

District Judge Bridget Knight said Broadhurst was ‘extremely lucky’ to continue to be supported by his family.

She said: “Words fail me about how lucky you are to have the family you have.

“They have paid off your drug debts and this was your father’s employer’s car, so he’s had all that embarrassment and shame.

“You really owe them some piece of mind.

“From the age of 14 you have been involved with drugs, and look at the type of people you have become involved with.

“Your poor family has forked out this money under pressure.

“It worries me deeply because those who put pressure on them have succeeded in this case.

“This is an appalling anxiety they have had for all this time.”

Broadhurst was sentenced to six months supervision, and 120 hours unpaid work.

He was banned from driving for 12 months, and fined £145, to be taken from benefits when his application is finalised.