TWO brothers have admitted taking a car and crashing it into a shop – resulting in more than £300,000-worth of damage.

The extent of the damage to the Premier Stores shop front in Llanwrtyd Wells is estimated to be between £300,000 and £400,000, Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court heard this week. Brothers Leejay Richards, 22, and Lee William Richards, 18, admitted all charges against them when appearing on Wednesday, January 13, and they are now set to be sentenced at Merthyr Crown Court next month.

Leejay Richards, who was driving the Renault Clio in the early hours of January 24, 2020, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and causing serious injury by dangerous driving. His younger sibling, who suffered multiple fractures to his arm during the incident, admitted a charge of aggravated vehicle taking.

Prosecutor Kevin Challinor told magistrates the incident occurred at around 12.30am on January 24 last year. He said: “Officers were called to reports of a road traffic collision in Llanwrtyd Wells; they found significant damage to a vehicle, which had taken out the shop front belonging to Premier Stores.

“The value of the damage is said to be between £300,000 and £400,000. There were also multiple arm fractures suffered by Lee Richards during the incident.”

Additional aggravating factors are that the driver would have been over the prescribed alcohol limit at the time of the offence, according to court papers.

Acting for the defendants, both of Llandovery Road, Llanwrtyd, Gareth Walters told the court: “I concede that your sentencing powers are insufficient given the damage and injuries to Lee Richards.” He said the brothers were both of previous good character.

The case was adjourned and the brothers will face sentence at Merthyr Crown Court on Wednesday, February 3. They were both granted unconditional bail and were handed interim driving disqualifications.

The incident has rocked the community of Llanwrtyd, with traffic lights still in place on the A483 that passes through the town as a result of the accident, which occurred nearly a year ago. Traffic lights were put up to protect the damaged shop, in which a visible crack has appeared down the building, and remain in place. They are believed to be costing the taxpayer £400 a week to maintain – meaning that the estimated total cost of the lights so far has surpassed £20,000.