A MAN crashed a stolen car while on a joyride.

Lee Wooding, 25, of Maurice Close, Kimbolton, was driving a blue Ford Fiesta belonging to his friend's mother on November 25. The court was told Wooding's friend originally took the car but after a short distance, the defendant started to drive.

The owner spotted the car was missing and alerted the police who found the Fiesta being driven along Stow Road to Kimbolton at about 10.15pm.

Paul Brown, prosecuting, said the officers saw the car come to an abrupt stop at the end and three people get out.

"The driver leapt over a fence but wasn't found," Mr Brown told Huntingdon Magistrates' Court on Thursday. "A tracker dog was used and tracked down the son of the victim. The other person, a woman, was also found."

Mr Brown said the car was damaged, leaving a repair bill of between £850 and £1,100. He added as a family member was involved in the incident, the insurance company refused to pay out.

The court was told the two other people in the car refused to tell police the identity of the driver.

Kevin Warboys, mitigating, said the son of the victim was given a nine-month referral order and the woman was given a reprimand.

Two days after the incident, Wooding stole money from a woman in Huntingdon. The court heard that he asked to use the phone of a woman at the Saxongate Centre. When Wooding gave back the phone, the woman noticed that her purse, which contained £200, was missing.

Mr Brown said she confronted Wooding, who turned red and flustered before fleeing. He has since paid back the money.

Mr Warboys said: "That week was extremely difficult for him. He had separated from his partner of seven years, he was sad and sleeping in a shed belonging to a friend."

He added Wooding admitted the driving offences before he was asked by police.

Wooding admitted aggravated vehicle taking, using a motor vehicle without insurance, and theft.

He was given a 12-month community order with a supervision requirement for the aggravated vehicle taking.

He was given the same sentence for theft, to run concurrently. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.