A MAN who took his mother’s car, crashed it, and then fell asleep at the wheel was spared from jail.

A court heard Christian Lane, 27, was the subject of a suspended sentence for a previous offence of wounding when he crashed his mother’s car on January 8.

Judge James Watson QC said that under normal circumstances, such a breach would mean an immediate custodial sentence, but he told Lane: “I am satisfied that the circumstances are very unusual.

“That does not mean they are not serious.”

Prosecuting, Mr Jonathan Underhill said that a police officer had come across Mr Lane asleep at the wheel of his mother’s Nissan Almera in Kingsclere at around 8.15am on January 8.

The car had “massive frontal damage” he said, after apparently crashing into a stationary object.

Lane was arrested, and while he gave a no-comment interview to the police, he later pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without consent, driving whilst disqualified, and driving without a licence or insurance.

Mr Underhill said that at the time of the crash, Lane was subject to a sentence of 18 months, which had been suspended for 18 months in July last year.

This related to an incident in January last year, in which Lane was involved in an apparently consensual “cutting competition” with a friend, in which the victim was hospitalised with a cut near his eye.

Defending Lane, formerly of Goddard Firs, Oakley, Mr Russell Pyne said his client had complied with the conditions of his suspended sentence until October, when his relationship ended and he stopped taking some medication.

He said that three days prior to the crash, Lane had been referred to mental health services.

Sentencing Lane, Judge Watson extended the period of the suspended sentence to 24 months and ordered Lane to attend further education, training and employment sessions.

He also ordered that Lane should live with his father at an address in Huddersfield and obey a curfew of between 7pm and 6am for three months.

Lane will also have to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and be subject of a community order for 12 months.