Apprentice plumber damaged works van after making unauthorised trip

AN APPRENTICE plumber from Boston who pranged a works van when he made an unauthorised trip to a shop has been placed under a 12-month community order by Boston magistrates.

This will require 19-year-old Nathan Mindham, who lives with his parents in Wellington Road, to carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work.

After admitting that he took the vehicle without the consent of its owners, Aaron Services, he was also banned from the roads for 12 months and ordered to pay £550 compensation for the damage he caused.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said the offence occurred on June 15 while the defendant was working with his supervisor on replacing a boiler at a premises in Wyberton.

During the course of the day he was given the van’s keys to allow him to fetch some parts from the back – but then he drove off to a Spar even though he holds only a provisional licence and has no insurance.

On the way back he lost control, mounted a kerb and collided with a parked lorry.

The lorry was undamaged but the cost of repairing damage to the van – including a broken windscreen – amounted to £5,529.53.

According to the prosecutor, when Mindham returned, he was ‘looking flustered’.

Mitigating, Andrew Goldsborough said his client had subsequently been dismissed by his employers for gross misconduct following what he acknowledged had been ‘a stupid mistake’.

He had not yet applied for benefits and was currently looking for work, though his immediate prospects would be diminished as a result of the offence.

Of the prospect of a community order being imposed, the solicitor said Mindham was ‘fit, young able’.

Appearing at the court on Wednesday, no separate penalty was imposed for the separate offence of driving without insurance and in breach of the terms of his licence.

Because of his limited means, no order was made for court costs and he will be allowed to pay off the compensation at £5 per week.