AN Ilminster woman who helped herself to her father’s car while he was away and collided with another vehicle confessed she was not insured to drive it.

Lorraine Carla Swain was initially arrested after her father said he had not given her permission to use his car.

However when she appeared in the dock before Somerset Magistrates they were told he no longer wished to pursue that complaint.

Swain, 47, of Butts Castle, pleaded guilty to using a vehicle without insurance on October 17 last year.

A further allegation of aggravated vehicle taking was withdrawn by the prosecution after they offered no evidence.

Prosecutor Paul Ricketts said that on the day in question the defendant’s father had gone to London with his grandson and Swain’s partner but she had remained behind.

“At some point during the day the defendant took the car and unfortunately there was a car accident and her father said he had not given permission for his daughter to take the vehicle so she was arrested,” he said.

“However the reason for the discontinuance was that Mr Swain no longer supported the prosecution and did not wish to give evidence against his daughter during a trial.”

Defending solicitor Greg Peters said that the incident had been very unfortunate and up until now his client held a full, clean driving licence.

“Swain has health issues and after getting a lift to her mother’s property decided she wanted to see a friend four miles away so made the decision to drive her father’s car that was parked outside,” he said.

“She has borrowed her parents’ vehicles historically, therefore she took it and drove to her friend’s house, but as she approached a roundabout near Ilminster she impacted with the rear of the vehicle in front at a very low speed.”

He said that her father had already been compensated for the damage to his car, and although Swain had her own car which was insured, she was not insured to drive another car as she was only a named driver on the policy.

“She holds her hands up and admits culpability for this offence,” he said.

The magistrates fined her £256 and endorsed her licence with eight penalty points. They also imposed costs of £85 and a £30 victim surcharge.