Learner driver lucky to avoid jail after serious crash

AN INGLEWOOD learner driver who took a joyride in somebody else's car with his mates and later wrote it off, has narrowly avoided serving jail time.

Seventeen-year-old William Percy Osbourne and two of his mates took the car for a drive out to Coolmunda Dam and back after a party on October 21.

Osbourne had no L-plates on the car and was under no supervision at the time.

He was charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle, driving on a learner's licence without supervision and failing to display L-plates.

Magistrate Bevan Manthey had some strong warnings for the teen in the Inglewood Magistrates Court last week.

"Unlawful use of a motor vehicle starts with jail time for me - that's seven years imprisonment," he said.

"You're in a bit of trouble - you're looking at a lengthy disqualification."

Osbourne initially lied to police when they caught up with him, according to police prosecutor Sergeant Ken Wiggan.

"There was $7500 worth of damage to the car," he said.

"Restitution is sought for the value of the car, which was written off."

The court heard the 17-year-old had no previous history and was currently unemployed.

Osbourne pleaded guilty to all charges and was placed on probation for 12 months.

He was also disqualified from driving for three months and ordered to pay $3750 in restitution for damage to the car.

Mr Manthey told the teen he'd be less lenient next time.

"You're a young fella already facing the Magistrates Court at your age," he said.

"My view is you need some guidance.

"If you were older, you would have been headed down that path (to jail)."

One of the other teens, also accused of driving the car, faces court next month.

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