When Saul Linton was arrested for a burglary and taking a car which crashed through a farmer’s hedge and a fence, he claimed he had been the passenger.
But the police knew that was a lie – because a length of the wooden fence had gone through the windscreen and would have impaled anyone in the passenger seat.
And when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court, Linton pleaded guilty to the burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and driving while disqualified.
Linton, 20, of Selside, Brownsover, Rugby, was jailed for a total of 15 months and was banned from driving for a year, after which he will have to take an extended re-test.
Prosecutor Lal Amarasinghe said that in July a man who lived opposite Linton had a cigarette outside his home and left the door unlocked when he went back inside.
While he was upstairs Linton walked in and stole the keys to his neighbour’s Honda Civic from a kitchen worktop and drove off in the car.
At 9.20 that morning Linton was seen driving the car aggressively along Lawford Road with his hood up so he would not be recognised.
One witness described him revving the engine hard and driving as if he was trying to wreck the car, and he forced a woman motorist to pull over to let him pass her.
After later turning into Rodney Close, he lost control of the Civic which crashed through a farmer’s hedge.
It ploughed on across the field and crashed through two wood and barbed wire fences, causing £600 damage to them, and into a tree.
When another driver went to see if he could help, he saw Linton, bleeding from his head, come through the gap in the hedge and try to get into his car before staggering away.
Linton was later arrested at his home and was first taken to hospital where he received treatment for his head injury, a shattered knee and a suspected broken wrist.
When he was interviewed he denied being responsible for the burglary and claimed someone else had picked him up in the car and that he was a passenger at the time of the crash.
But Mr Amarasinghe pointed out that a length of the wooden fence had gone through the windscreen and embedded itself in the passenger seat – and would have impaled anyone sitting there.
And the woman he had overtaken in Lawford Lane said there had only been one person in the car when it had gone past her shortly before the crash.
Linton later admitted he had lied because he ‘didn’t want to get into trouble,’ added Mr Amarasinghe.
David Everett, defending, said Linton had committed the offences on the spur of the moment, and asked for him to be given credit for his guilty pleas.
Linton was jailed for nine months for the burglary, with a consecutive six-month sentence for aggravated vehicle taking.
Recorder Patrick Upward QC told him: “If you carry on the way you are going, you are going to spend the rest of your life behind bars.
“But I bear in mind you pleaded guilty at a pretty early stage and have shown some remorse.”