A STUDENT stole his friend's car and was caught drink driving in it by police.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Derek Simango, a third year civil engineering student at the University of Bolton, was a friend of fellow student Prescncis Nkomo and visited her home several times.

But Andrew Mackintosh, prosecuting, told how she noticed that her £11,000 VW Scirocco was missing from her driveway on March 3.

Two days later, at 2am, police stopped the car on Bolton Road, Bolton, using a stinger and when 25-year-old Simango, who was driving, refused to open the door, had to force a window.

He had no licence or insurance and had drunk more than four times the legal level of alcohol.

Simango, of Yew Tree Close, Chorley, admitted the driving offences but denied stealing the car, claiming he had been in a relationship with Miss Nkomo and she had allowed him to use it. He subsequently changed his plea to guilty.

Katherine Pierpoint, defending, said Simango, a father-of-three, is a care worker when not studying.

"He's clearly a hard worker and he wants to put this behaviour behind him," she added.

Judge Graeme Smith sentenced Simango to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years, ordered him to undertake 160 hours of unpaid work and he must participate in 20 days of rehabilitation activities.

He was also banned from applying for a driving licence for three years.

"Having read the pre-sentence report you are somebody who clearly is generally a hard-working, law-abiding, family man."