PRISON time has been handed to a Reading man who drove his neighbour’s car on the wrong side of the road and through a red light before crashing into a wall.

Lewis Rawlings, of Conwy Close, Tilehurst, stole his neighbour’s car in October 2019 after pleading for a lift to a nearby bus stop.

According to Judge Sarah Campbell, Rawlings was under the influence of “various types of alcohol” and prescription drugs at the time of the incident.

Upon reaching the bus stop, the 33-year-old asked his neighbour to take him to Reading instead.

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After Rawlings’ neighbour refused, the Tilehurst man took his car keys and started driving his neighbour's Nissan.

Rawlings then drove on the wrong side of the road at an “excessive speed”, a court heard.

He then went through a red light before crashing into a wall on a bridge.

Judge Campbell said he caused “considerable damage” costing “thousands of pounds” to both the wall and his neighbour’s car.

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Defending, John Upton pleaded with Judge Campbell to hand Rawlings a suspended sentence as this would give the 33-year-old the opportunity to “prove his compliance” with probation services.

But Judge Campbell, sentencing, noted his “sporadic” compliance with probation following a dozen convictions for 25 offences in the past.

Addressing Rawlings, she said: “You give me no confidence you will comply with any probation order this court gives you.

“There is not a prospect of rehabilitation.”

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The judge handed Rawlings a 12-month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to robbery, dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking.

He will serve half his sentence before being released on licence.

Rawlings, who learned his fate at Reading Crown Court on Friday, April 23, was also disqualified from driving for 18 months.

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