A TEENAGE mechanic left a friend’s car “smashed to bits” after he crashed into a tree while test driving it to discover if there was anything wrong with it.

Liam James Glyn Price, 19, “blacked out” during the incident, which occurred on April 20 near Newbridge-on-Wye.

Following the incident, which caused more than £5,000 of damage, it was discovered Price was not insured to drive the car.

The teen – who following a visit to his doctor since the incident, discovered he suffers with temporary blackouts – has consequently lost his job.

Price, of Upper Llety, Llanyre, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance when he appeared at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, October 26.

Prosecutor Stephen Davies said the vehicle involved was a grey Hyundai I30, with the road traffic collision occurring on the A483 between Newbridge and Llangurig.


“It was around 6.12pm when police received a call regarding a road traffic collision,” said Mr Davies.

“When they arrived on the scene they could see a car on its side having collided with a tree, it was described as ‘smashed to bits’. There was debris, including branches and glass, across the carriageway.

“The defendant said he had been driving a friend’s vehicle when he had blacked out. Iwan Mills, the owner, was also present; he confirmed it was his vehicle and that his friend was a mechanic testing the vehicle.

“He made no complaint but a few days later Mr Mills said he last saw the vehicle in a private car park and he hadn’t reported it missing.

“He was later interviewed and said he didn’t give permission for the defendant to drive it. He believed his friend was a mechanic and was working on it but wasn’t driving it. It was later found out he wasn’t a mechanic so he reported it.

“The defendant told police he wasn’t covered to drive the vehicle even though his friend knew he was a mechanic. He said he didn’t know what to say to the officer at the scene.”

Paul Lewis, acting for Price, said: “This is not your usual case of aggravated taking a vehicle without consent.

“The defendant was good friends with the owner of the car. He had previously agreed to carry out work on the vehicle, which included changing the brakes.

“He was asked a few days later to have another look as it was making a funny noise. Mr Price inspected the vehicle in the car park of the complainant’s place of work, when he was in work.

“He couldn’t trace any noise and decided to take it on a short test run to see if he could hear any noise. In the course of that test run it was involved in an accident.

“He stayed at the roadside, he knew the police would be coming, and he identified himself. He also contacted the owner.

“The victim’s insurers may have decided that a report would have to be made due to the car being damaged by an uninsured driver. The victim’s actions may have caused the defendant to be charged.

“Fortunately, no-one was injured and there were no other vehicles involved.”

Mr Lewis said Price had no previous convictions. “He has now lost his job as a mechanic as a result of the incident, as when he went to visit his GP it was found he is suffering from absence seizures – temporary blackouts,” added Mr Lewis.

“It may take some time to be properly looked at and diagnosed. He is currently unemployed and lives at home with mum. “He did not go out that day to commit offences, he was responding to a request from a friend. He is now at college studying mechanics.”

Price was disqualified from driving for a year. Magistrates fined him £300 for taking the vehicle without consent but ordered no separate penalty for driving without insurance. He must also pay £85 costs and a £34 surcharge.