A POT washer at The Plough pub in Wigglesworth drove a work colleague home in a car that was not his and despite not having a driving licence or being insured to drive, heard Skipton Magistrates Court.

Christopher Atkinson, 31, took the keys to the Vauxhall Corsa belonging to another work colleague from the pub bar to drive the woman home to save her a walk on a very cold night, the court heard on Friday.

On his way back to the pub, he crashed the vehicle into a wall near Pikeber Farm, Wigglesworth. He then left the car and ran home where a short while later police arrived and he admitted straight away what he had done.

He admitted not having a driving licence or that he had been insured to drive the vehicle and that while at the pub he had drunk three double vodkas and coke, and two vodkas, the court was told.

Atkinson, of Jack Lane, Wigglesworth, of previous good character, admitted theft of a vehicle, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, and using a vehicle without third party insurance.

The court heard he had already paid the owner of the car £2,000 and had another £200 left to pay.

In mitigation, Ibrar Hussain said Atkinson wanted to do his female colleague a favour.

Mr Hussain said: "He knew it was a 20 minute walk home and he thought he would do her a favour and drive her home. It was very icy and he lost control of the car."

Atkinson washed pots and pans at the pub and was hard working. He was deeply ashamed and was paying for the damage, added Mr Hussain.

Probation officer Andrew Watson, following a pre-sentence interview, said Atkinson had worked three or four months at the pub and lived in staff accommodation. He normally worked 3pm to 10pm shifts, and enjoyed his work.

On occasions, he was prone to impulsive behaviour and believed he might have undiagnosed ADHD. He used cannabis and spent about £200 per month on the drug. He described himself as being 'merry' on the night after drinking, and accepted that he had put himself, his passenger and other road users at risk.

"He regrets his actions and wishes to apologise to the court," said Mr Watson.

Atkinson was given a 12 month community order with 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 40 hours unpaid work. He was also banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a £114 surcharge.