Derbyshire driver struck lamppost after taking car to avoid family funeral ‘tension’

Pictured is Derby Crown Court.
Pictured is Derby Crown Court.

A motorist took his partner’s car to avoid an argument at a family funeral, drove off in it and then crashed it into a lamppost.

Derby Crown Court heard how Ryan Cummings was already the subject of a suspended sentence for an assault in an Ilkeston pub when he committed his latest offence.

Joey Kwong, prosecuting, said on the day of the incident, on April 10, he travelled with his partner in her car to the funeral of his uncle but following the service there ‘appeared to be tension’.

He said: “The defendant decided to get away from the funeral and took his partner’s car. She did not give her permission to take it and while he was driving it away he collided with a lamppost in Green Lane, in Ilkeston. The force of the collision forced the post to come out of the ground and it ended up on the road. The police arrived and arrested the defendant who made full admissions to what he had done.”

Mr Kwong said the offence put him breach of a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, in relation to a conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He said that offence saw Cummings get into a fight with a man in The Market Inn, Ilkeston, in 2016, whereby he kneed the victim to the face a number of times leaving the other man ‘bleeding profusely from his nose’.

Cummings, of Croft Crescent, Awsworth, near Ilkeston, pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, driving without insurance and being in breach of a suspended sentence.

Steve Cobley, for the 25-year-old, said his client had been complying fully with the requirements set out by the probation service that were imposed at the time he was convicted of the pub assault.

He said: “He attended his aunt’s address for the wake and there was a disagreement and he decided to remove himself from the situation in case it escalated into violence.”

Judge Nirmal Shant QC deferred sentencing Cummings for three months.

She said: “If you come back having kept out of trouble, kept your job and your accommodation I can tell you now that you will not receive a custodial sentence.”