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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Cumbrian man jailed for setting fire to dad's car after crash

A man has been sent to prison for setting fire to his father’s car after crashing it on a west Cumbrian street.

Michael Gearing, 32, took the Ford Mondeo without permission and abandoned it, locked but badly damaged, after an accident in King Street, Maryport, on the evening of January 6.

While police went to his father’s house to find out what had happened Gearing went back to the car and – using bits of scrap paper piled on the seat – destroyed it by setting fire to it.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Gearing, of John Street, Maryport, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, driving without insurance or a licence, refusing to take a breath test and arson.

He was sent to prison for six months and banned from driving for a year.

Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told the court that Gearing and his girlfriend were seen walking away from the car after the initial accident.

When police went to his house in John Street, he refused to take a breath test.

In mitigation defence barrister Greg Hoare said Gearing, who had 29 previous convictions, was “aghast” at what he had done. He said that for some reason he had decided it would be better for his father if the car was burned out once it had been damaged in the crash.

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