A MAN who took over driving a stolen car because he deemed the previous driver unfit ended up veering off the road and leaving it on its roof.

Burnley Crown Court heard how 37-year-old Michael Quigley had spent the evening drinking with the owner of the car, Christopher Lord, as well as Ben Kelly and Danielle Bradley.

Prosecuting, Tom Longstaff said all four had been rejected entry to a party so in the early hours of February 18 they got into Mr Lord’s black Renault Megane and he set off driving.

But when they came to a stop at a give way line, Kelly, who was sat in the back of the car, began to strangle Mr Lord. He then climbed into the front and used two feet to kick Mr Lord out of the vehicle, before driving off.

Mr Longstaff said: “The car then drove off with Kelly as the driver and Ms Bradley and Quigley as passengers. But after only about a couple of hundred yards it was clear that Kelly was in no fit state to drive due to being so drunk. The car was weaving and swerving across the road and he wasn’t in proper control. At this point he stopped the car and Quigley and Kelly swapped seats. Quigley then drove off. He was driving fast. Ms Bradley asked him to slow down but he didn’t. He soon lost control of the car. It left the road and ended up on it’s roof.”

Mr Longstaff said the Megane had left the carriageway in Todmorden Road, Briercliffe, at around 4am.

At the time police received a 999 call about the crash Mr Lord was at Nelson Police Station reporting the Megane as stolen.

Ms Bradley suffered a broken arm as a result of the crash.

Quigley, of Athol Street South, Burnley, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle take and driving without a licence or insurance.

Defending, Mark Stuart said his client had served three custodial sentences since this offence and had now made positive changes in his life. He also said Quigley would only receive the help he needed to battle his drug addiction if he was engaging with the probation service out of prison.

Recorder Stephen Bedford sentenced him to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement and a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was banned from driving for two years.

Kelly, 30, of Sandhurst Street, Burnley, was jailed for his role in the incident at an earlier hearing.