Airbag DNA traps son who took mother’s car before Outwell crash

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court. ENGANL00120120910144054
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court. ENGANL00120120910144054
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A man who crashed his mother’s car after taking it “for a laugh” was only caught by DNA evidence from its airbag, magistrates have heard.

Steven Mansell, 19, formerly of Small Lode, Upwell, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking when he appeared in court in Lynn today.

He also admitted driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and without insurance.

Giles Beaumont, prosecuting, told the court that Mansell, a provisional licence holder, had taken his mother’s vehicle without her consent on March 8 this year.

The vehicle was later in collision with a bridge in Outwell.

The court heard that police interviewed Mansell on two occasions following the collision, in which he declined to answer their questions.

During the second interview, officers warned him that the car would have to be forensically examined without further co-operation.

Mansell only admitted his involvement in a third interview after a forensic examination of the vehicle, in which his DNA was found on the airbag.

Mr Beaumont added: “He thought it was a bit of a laugh but realised afterwards that it wasn’t.”

Before the case was stood down for a probation report, Ian Graham, defending, said: “I have advised Mr Mansell this is a serious matter and all options remain open when he returns for sentence.”

Mansell was given a 12 month community order and told to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was also banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge.