A BANNED driver who left a high-performance car embedded in the lounge of a house has been locked up.

Three people in the house escaped injury when the S-Type Jaguar ploughed through the front window and wall.

Brett Crawford, who ran from the scene, was traced through DNA on the airbag of the vehicle - one of two cars taken from another home in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, hours earlier.

Crawford, 19, was yesterday sent to a young offenders' institution and disqualified from driving for four years after Durham Crown Court heard he was serving a driving ban at the time of last June's crash.

Mark Giuliani, prosecuting, said the Jaguar was taken from Falstone Drive, in the Waldridge area, at about 10pm.

It was driven round before it went out of control, demolished a lamp-post and veered into the house in Lingholm, on the Wynyard estate, at about 2.45am.

A man seen running from the scene matched a description of Crawford and he was arrested a fortnight later, but denied being involved.

It was not until December that forensic evidence confirmed the match and Crawford was charged.

Mr Giuliani said the 18-month-old car was worth £30,000 new, while the damage to the house was put at £21,000 and the lamp-post cost £5,000 to replace.

Home owner Susan Baron, 50, daughter Lindsey, 21, and her boyfriend, were left shocked by the incident.

Crawford, of Jacques Terrace, Chester-le-Street, admitted burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and driving while disqualified.

Nigel Wray, defending, said: "He apologises unreservedly for the damage and distress he caused. He lost control and he is very sorry for the consequences."