A motoring offender was caught by police driving around in a stolen van which he had taken to go to the shops.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard this month how Jack Richard Baston, 22, of Brassington Street, Clay Cross, had driven off with the van after spotting it with the keys still inside.
Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Saunderson said: “Police officers were on patrol when they saw a Ford Transit van driving on Pilsley Road, at Clay Cross.
“Baston was not making eye contact and he was attempting to look away but they stopped the vehicle and he said he had stolen it and that he did not have a licence.
“He said he had just picked up the keys and taken it.”
Ms Saunderson added that the owner of the van said it had been parked close to his address and the first time he knew it had been stolen was when police informed him that they had found his vehicle.”
The defendant told police he took the vehicle after he had spotted that the keys had been left inside the van but he said he just took it to drive around.
Baston pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle that had been taken without the consent of the owner, and he admitted driving without insurance and without a licence after the incident on November 15.
Defence solicitor Rob Sowter said: “The van keys were inside the vehicle and in a moment of madness he decided to go to the shops and picked up the keys.
“He looked suspicious and was pulled over by the police.
“He stopped at the scene and he made full admissions.”
Magistrates fined Baston £240 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
He was also banned from driving for 12 months.