A 19-YEAR-OLD man who admitted a string of motoring offences and one drugs charge has been told that if he was any older he would have been jailed.
Instead Jose Leonardo Santos Coelho was fined £2,200 and ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service. He will also be on probation for nine months.
Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris told him: ‘You are very lucky not to be going to prison today.
‘It’s only your age that has saved you from that.’
The Magistrate’s Court heard that Coelho owned a red Honda Civic which he had not insured, and had instead attached an insurance disc for a moped to the windscreen.
He also owned a grey Seat which he exchanged for a silver Audi – attaching the insurance disc from the Seat to the new car.
Then on 16 November while driving the Audi along Grande Route de Rozel in St Martin he hit a tree and abandoned it.
St Martin Centenier Gordon Jones said: ‘The car was left across the central lines. The front and rear were both damaged and the air bag was splattered with blood.’
When the States police traced Coelho he had abrasions to his right cheek and eye, and forensic tests of the blood on the air bag gave ‘extremely strong support for his presence in the vehicle’.
When arrested he was also found to have a small amount of cannabis resin on him.
Advocate Greg Herold-Howes, defending, asked for a community service order and a probation order rather than prison or a fine.
He said the offence arose from ‘the foolishness and impetuousness of youth’ and added: ‘He recognises the stupidity of his behaviour and is very sorry for it.
‘He appears to have fallen in with the wrong crowd and his behaviour shifted.
‘This has been a moment of realisation for Mr Coelho that he needs to grow up.’
Coelho was sentenced to a combination of fines and community service orders for driving without a licence or insurance, altering insurance documents, careless driving, failing to report an accident, failing to provide information and possession of drugs.
The Assistant Magistrate also banned him from driving for 18 months and told him: ‘If you breach any of the court orders you are at risk of going into custody.’