A 17-year-old who got behind the wheel with no insurance or driving licence has landed six penalty points before even passing his test.

The youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was caught by police in County Durham driving a black Astra with five passengers in November last year.

Appearing before Newton Aycliffe Youth Court on Friday (February 16) he admitted charges of driving without a licence or insurance.

When stopped by police the lad told officers he had been asked to drive by a family member as another family member was unwell.

Mitigating, Mr John Clish, said: “It seems quite remarkable that that a family member would perhaps in any way suggest to a 17-year-old with no license, not insured to drive a vehicle, should be encouraged to drive a vehicle.

“It does appear that some emotional pressure has been put on him.”

The were five passengers in the car with him when was pulled over by police.

Prosecutor Lesley Burgess, said: “The circumstances are that in November police have seen a black Astra being driven at about 8.30pm. They stop the vehicle and [he] is driving.

“He doesn’t have a provisional licence and, of course, wasn’t insured.

“There were four young people in the back of the vehicle then [he] was in the front with his step-mum.”

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The court heard he cooperated fully with police.

Chair of the bench Ian Goodman warned him, “these are serious offences”, and that the consequences could have been a lot worse.

He ordered the teen to pay £253 in costs and charges and said he will have six points on his licence when he gets one.