A schoolgirl has admitted joyriding in her grandfather’s car – at the age of 12.
The youngster got behind the wheel of the Vauxhall Zafira and drove it nearly a mile, in first gear all the way.
She headed along two residential roads before turning left onto a main road leading out of Stevenage, Herts., on March 31.
Her trip ended when she stalled the vehicle just before a roundabout, causing a traffic jam.
Police were called and they found the girl standing next to the overheated car which was on the point of bursting into flames because the girl had wrestled with the gears.
The youngster was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to stealing the car and driving without a licence or insurance.
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She appeared before Stevenage Youth Court on May 8 where she was ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
She was also referred to the North Herts Youth Offender Panel for a four-month contract where a plan will be put in place aimed at preventing future offending.
After the case the girl’s grandfather said: “She knows she has done wrong and she has been punished for that. We are trying to move on from it.”
The girl’s aunt added: “Unfortunately her mum died of cancer in January and I think what she did was just a reaction to everything.
“I haven’t really spoken to her about it but I know she has been through a lot.”
In February a ten year-old Norwegian boy who drove his parents’ car into a snowy ditch told police he was a dwarf who had forgotten his driver’s license.
The youngster put his 18 month-old sister into the car while their parents slept and set off to visit his grandparents about 60 kilometres away.
He drove more than 10 kilometres before veering off the road, where he was found by a snowplough driver who alerted police.