AN UNINSURED and unlicensed driver took an acquaintance’s car without her permission and then went on a high-speed police chase until he crashed into a curb.

Christopher Eley was said to have been drinking at The White Hart, in Basingstoke, when his co-defendant Courtney Edenbrow took the keys of a silver BMW.

The car belonged to Edenbrow’s best friend Elizabeth Ibbs and said that she had only taken the keys to stop her friend from drink driving.

On Thursday, Eley, 27, of Byron Close, Popley, and Edenbrow, 23, of Trinity Way, Sherborne St John, appeared at Winchester Crown Court.

Robert Brown, prosecuting, said on September 12, last year, at about 11.30pm the pair were spotted by officers on patrol. Eley was driving and Edenbrow was in the front passenger seat.

The officers indicated for Eley to stop but “the vehicle accelerated and drove at speed away from them” reaching 80mph as police continued pursuit.

Mr Brown said that after a few minutes "because of the dangerous manner of driving, police discontinued and it was allowed to drive away from them".

A short period later the BMW was found abandoned in Crockford Lane, with significant damage to the car after it hit a curb. Eley’s DNA was found on the driver’s airbag.

A dog unit was deployed and Edenbrow was found in a field in the Chineham area and Eley was stopped “hopping over a fence”. Eley refused to complete a breath test.

Edenbrow previously admitted to being a passenger in a vehicle that was taken without consent, while Eley pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without consent, driving without insurance and a licence, along with failing to supply a specimen.

Rosie Bailey, in mitigation, said Eley has shown “considerable remorse” and has “given the incident considerable thought since it happened”.

The court was told that following the incident Eley has secured a full-time job and has been seeking help from a drug intervention service.

In mitigation for Edenbrow, Richard Elliot said: “She and her friend have never fallen out over this incident which may be telling in the circumstances of this offence.

“She has, she tells me, taken her friend’s keys previously to stop her driving drunk.”

Mr Elliott added: “She is sorry for what she has done and is sorry for the effects on her friend.”

Eley was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months but must complete 120 hours unpaid work and was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He also must complete 30 rehabilitation days and a thinking skills programme.

Edenbrow was handed an 18-month community sentence, 60 hours unpaid work and 25 rehabilitation days. She was also disqualified for 12 months.

Both defendants must pay Ms Ibbs £500 in compensation.