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Learner driver crashed into garden

PUBLISHED: 11:55 31 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 03 July 2010

A FEMALE learner driver caused more than £5,000 of damage after she hit an accelerator pedal instead of the brake and slammed into a garden wall, a court heard yesterday.

A FEMALE learner driver caused more than £5,000 of damage after she hit an accelerator pedal instead of the brake and slammed into a garden wall, a court heard yesterday.

As well as careering into the wall after trying a U-turn, Claire Sistern's blunder behind the wheel saw the Vauxhall Corsa she was driving shunt a parked vehicle into the home of an elderly Caister couple.

Yesterday the eighteen-year-old from Lynch Green, Hethersett, pleased guilty to a string of motoring offences, including failing to stop at an accident and driving without due care and attention.

She was given eight points on her driving licence - even though she can not legally drive on her own yet.

Yarmouth Magistrates Court heard that on the evening of April 29 Sistern had asked her boyfriend of a week if she could take a spin in the car he was driving.

It was claimed that she told him she had a driving licence - despite only having a provisional one and about 40 hours of lessons.

As the couple were driving down Yarmouth Road in Caister at about 10pm Sistern lost control as she attempted a U-turn.

Rachel Balfour, prosecuting, said the Vauxhall Corsa hit the garden wall of Mr and Mrs Brown and the vehicle then shunted the elderly couple's parked car into their own home.

The Brown's car ended up wedged so tightly against their door they could not get out.

Ms Balfour described George Brown's reaction to the incident by saying: “He thought he had heard an explosion. There were two loud bangs close together. He could see his car had been shunted forward and sideways blocking the door.

“They were shaken and shocked in relation to what had happened.”

Magistrates heard after the accident Sistern was seen to walk away in a distressed state and her boyfriend drove their car way.

The damage caused to the house was about £3,600 and the Brown's £1,800 car, also a Vauxhall Corsa, was written off.

Both sets of damage were covered by insurance.

Arthur Balls, in mitigation, said Sistern had no previous convictions and was very sorry for the damage she had caused.

She hopes to start college in September.

Mr Balls said: She put her foot on the wrong pedal. She fully accepts what she did was wrong.

“She comes across as bright young individual with a bright future.”

Sistern was ordered to pay £250 compensation to the Browns and had eight points placed on her provisional licence for two counts of failing to stop at an accident.

No further penalty was given for guilty pleas to driving without a licence and insurance and driving without due car and attention.

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