Shropshire Star

Soldier took Mercedes and stole phone before being stopped for drink-driving

A soldier who took a Mercedes and damaged it while over the drink-drive limit has been ordered to pay out more than £2,800.

Clive Barracks in Tern Hill, near Market Drayton

Private Eric Thompson from Clive Barracks at Tern Hill, near Market Drayton, admitted three charges when he appeared at Telford Magistrates' Court on Friday, January 3.

The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and causing damage of £5,000 or over to a white Mercedes CLA220 AMG Sport 4Matic. He took the car in Shrewsbury on June 25 last year.

On the same day he also stole an iPhone, and was later stopped at the wheel of the Mercedes while driving down Hedley Way in Buntingsdale, only a short distance from his barracks. A blood test recorded 133 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, 53 milligrammes over the limit of 80.

At court Thompson was ordered to pay £1,690 compensation to the owner of the Mercedes, and fined £666. He must also pay a £266 surcharge and £185 costs, leaving him with a bill of £2,807.

He was also disqualified from driving for 14 months.

An Army spokesperson said: “The conduct in this case falls short of the behaviours expected by soldiers serving in the British Army, and all criminal convictions are immediately considered by the Army for disciplinary action.”

All soldiers convicted at court are considered for disciplinary action under employment law. However, the Army does not comment on the outcome of any disciplinary proceedings.

All court cases where serving soldiers are found guilty are consider for disciplinary action under employment law. The Army does not comment on the outcome of these proceedings.