NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Teenager crashed car into bedroom

A teenage drink driver who crashed a stolen car into the bedroom of an elderly couple's home has avoided prison.

Liam Donaldson - who was 16 at the time - stole a family friend's car after a night drinking at a party with friends.

He then crashed through the bedroom wall of the sheltered housing property as the couple slept.

Donaldson was put on an 18-month supervision order and ordered to carry out 260 hours of unpaid work.

He was also banned from driving for three years.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court had previously been told how Catherine Gordon, 77, woke to find rubble crashing on to her head and the front of the Skoda Fabia next to her bed.

The pensioner, who had been sleeping next to 80-year-old husband John, was trapped by the rubble and could not get up.

She was treated by paramedics at the scene, who advised her to go to hospital as she was suffering from a sore back and pain in her side.

Donaldson, now aged 17, admitted stealing the car and driving it without a licence or insurance.

'Vodka and beer'

He also pled guilty to injuring Mrs Gordon by driving dangerously while under the influence of alcohol.

The court heard that the Gordons initially had to stay with relatives before being moved out of their sheltered housing accommodation.

An estimated £34,500 pounds of damage was caused to the property and the Skoda Fabia - worth about £7,000 pounds - was an insurance write-off.

Defence lawyer Iain McGregor said his client had accepted full responsibility for his actions.

He said: "Mr Donaldson accepts he had been drinking during the course of the day, he was drinking vodka and beer.

"His recollection of events are somewhat vague. He was in a state of intoxication at the time these offences occurred."

Mr McGregor said the car owner had given his client driving lessons in the months leading up to the crash.

Sheriff William Summers said it was "frankly astonishing" that no-one had been more seriously injured as a consequence of the teenager's actions.

But he said he could see reasons not to serve the first offender with detention.

He placed him under an 18-month supervision order and ordered him to carry out a total of 260 hours of unpaid work as a direct alternative to custody.

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