A Moray man drunkenly stole his friend’s car, ploughed it into a field and then hid the key in his underwear when confronted by police.
Karl Smith, who lives in Cullen, had been at a party at David Wright’s house in Findochty when the incident occurred.
The 21-year-old was disqualified from driving for a year and ordered to remain under supervision for six months when he appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday.
The court heard that Smith, who recently moved to Moray from England, attended the shindig in the hopes of making new friends.
But when Mr Wright fell asleep, the accused stole his car key from his trouser pocket and sped off in his black Ford Fiesta.
Fiscal, Alex Swain, said the accused had been drinking for hours before taking the car on Thursday, November 3, last year.
She said that witnesses noticed the vehicle was missing from outside Mr Wright’s home at 1.30am.
The complainer realised that his car key had been taken from a pair of jeans he had left on his bedroom floor.
Ms Swain told the court that police officers on routine patrol subsequently spotted the Fiesta in a field off the A942 road between Findochty and Portknockie.
She added: “They could feel that the engine was warm and it appeared that the car had crashed into the field.
“The accused had left the vehicle by that point, but police encountered the witnesses from the party, who gave them Smith’s name.
“He was traced at 2.30am and provided a roadside breath test, and when he was searched police found the car key hidden in his underwear.”
Smith, of South Deskford Street in Cullen, admitted charges of taking a car without the consent of its owner and drink driving.
He was found to have 44microgrammes of alcohol per 100 mililitres of breath, double the legal limit of 22mcg.
Smith’s lawyer, Matthew O’Neill, said his client had little recollection of events and could not explain why he chose to conceal the key in his underwear.
Mr O’Neill added: “He accepts that must have been a decision he made in his panic.”