'Arrogant' Royal Agricultural College student blasted by judge over car damage

First published in News by

AN ‘ARROGANT’ student at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester has been blasted by a judge for damaging a girl's car while she slept after the college’s annual ball.

Matthew Hardy took the keys to fellow student Amanda West's car from her room at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, as she slept and drove to The Tunnel Inn at Coates.

There he allowed people to career around in her Peugeot, causing £800 damage to the vehicle because of the numerous potholes in the pub’s driveway, and her CD collection was thrown out of the window during the 'high jinks' escapade.

Hardy, 20, of Chesterton Farm Lane, Cirencester, admitted criminal damage to the car but denied burgling Ms West's room and stealing her car keys on May 24. He also denied aggravated taking of the car.

His pleas were accepted by prosecutor Derek Ryder who told the court: "If it was a prank, it went far beyond what I would accept as being a prank and almost bordered on what be termed criminal.

"Whether the defendant went into her room and asked if he could borrow the car is a point in issue - but take the keys he did.

"He had a passenger. While they were in the car he allowed that passenger to merrily get hold of Miss West's CDs and throw them out of the window. That is the respect he had for other peoples' property."

"She told the police she knew who did it. She was in the process of reporting the matter when the defendant telephoned her on her mobile. He said, 'you allowed me to take your car' and her immediate reaction was, 'no I didn't'.

"When the defendant was interviewed there was not a single apology. There was no humility and no apology in his explanation to the police."

Amanda West was out of pocket to the tune of £650 because of the excess on her car insurance, the loss of her CDs and the fact that her insurers had put her premium up by £400 as a result of her claim.

David Mannion, defending, said: "It was not meant to be a prank but it became one and of course he is sorry. He maintains he believed he had permission to use the car."

Recorder Simon Privett said Hardy’s actions were irresponsible, mean and selfish.

He told Hardy: "You should be ashamed of yourself for the way you behaved."

Hardy was fined £350, ordered to pay £650 compensation with prosecution costs of £1,000 and a £15 victim's surcharge to be paid within one week.

Comments (3)

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1:26pm Fri 19 Feb 10

Aggie neighbour says...

Typical lack of respect for other people and their property from a student of the RAC. I expect he got daddy to give him an advance from his inheritance to pay for the damage.
Typical lack of respect for other people and their property from a student of the RAC. I expect he got daddy to give him an advance from his inheritance to pay for the damage. Aggie neighbour
  • Score: 2

8:16pm Fri 19 Feb 10

Union Man says...

Sounds like an spiffing jape. Completely different to some yokel a TWOCing ia jamjar, now that's a serious offence.
Young chap, well bred studies hard needs to let orf steam don't cha know, not at all like some drunken unemployed lout stealing and driving on public roads you see, I'm sure the chap was well under 35mgs at the time, and fully insured when nhe drove very carefully along the public road and only gave the little french car its head when he got to the Tunnel Inns private Rally section /access road.
Perhaps the gel should sue them for the potholes or Peugeot for making such a flimsy car.
Storm in a tea cup.
Better sorted out over a glass of port if you ask me.
Sounds like an spiffing jape. Completely different to some yokel a TWOCing ia jamjar, now that's a serious offence. Young chap, well bred studies hard needs to let orf steam don't cha know, not at all like some drunken unemployed lout stealing and driving on public roads you see, I'm sure the chap was well under 35mgs at the time, and fully insured when nhe drove very carefully along the public road and only gave the little french car its head when he got to the Tunnel Inns private Rally section /access road. Perhaps the gel should sue them for the potholes or Peugeot for making such a flimsy car. Storm in a tea cup. Better sorted out over a glass of port if you ask me. Union Man
  • Score: -1

12:50pm Fri 5 Mar 10

lpaw says...

I am assuming this is the same car that was smashed into the verge nr Kemble last weekend. Its disgusting, this is theft, dangerous driving at the least! I can not believe he has got away with such a soft punishment! That really is goign to teach him a lesson!!
I am assuming this is the same car that was smashed into the verge nr Kemble last weekend. Its disgusting, this is theft, dangerous driving at the least! I can not believe he has got away with such a soft punishment! That really is goign to teach him a lesson!! lpaw
  • Score: 2

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