Video: 'Sham' sentence for Staveley mechanic who caused £87,000 damage to rare Lamborghini supercar

The Westmorland Gazette: Businessman Stephen Leahy with his damaged car Businessman Stephen Leahy with his damaged car

A MECHANIC who wrote off a Lamborghini – and a Ford Focus – causing £95,000 of damage, has been fined £280 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30 by magistrates.

Andrew Mitchinson, 37, of Low Skelyghyll Farm, Windermere, caused £87,000 damage to a rare Lamborghini Murcielago while carrying out a brake test on it when the accident happened.

ABOVE: The prang was caught on CCTV

South Lakeland magistrates heard that the high-powered supercar was in collision with a £7,500 Ford Focus parked outside RR Stone on Windermere Road in Staveley.

The Murcielago, of which just 4,099 were made during a nine-year period, belonged to millionaire businessman Stephen Leahy. The Ford Focus was owned by mum-of-two and finance officer Marianne Kitchen, 33, of Kendal.

Mitchinson admitted driving without due care and attention on November 6 last year while carrying out an MOT on behalf of Station Garage, Staveley, set up by his father, Alan.

He was fined £280, ordered to pay court costs of £350, pay a victim surcharge of £30 and was given six penalty points.

Peter Bardsley, prosecuting, said witnesses had seen Mitchinson driving the silver, two-door 630 brake horsepower Lamborghini at ‘excessive speed’.

“Due to a combination of a wet road and skidding on a man hole cover, he lost control, left the carriageway for around 40 metres, came back onto it and hit the back of the parked car,” said Mr Bardsley.

After the hearing Mr Leahy, a Lake District hotelier and entrepreneur, said: “I’m appalled he thought it fit to drive like that through a quaint, little country village in a customer’s car. He should not be allowed behind the wheel of a customer’s car.”

Mr Leahy, from Greater Manchester, said despite its capabilities, he had always driven the Lamborghini carefully.

“That car was driven like ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ and I’ve always been really careful with it,” he said.

“At the end of the day he was a very, very silly lad and he’s been given a slap on the wrist.”

Ms Kitchen was critical of the sentence received by Mitchinson and described the justice system as ‘a sham’.

“That Ford Focus, was my Lamborghni,” said Ms Kitchen. “It’s the best car I’ve ever had. It was only three years old.

“Basically all he has got is the equivalent of two speeding tickets for trashing two cars.

“It left us without a car. It was a total write off.

“I was hoping he would receive some sort of a ban, not a long one but maybe just some sort of re-learning of driving skills because he really should know how important it is not to be trashing cars.”

Mr Mitchinson declined to comment on the fine but explain-ed why he had not apologised to both car owners in person.

“I was advised by the solicitors not to contact them because of the court proceedings and they have both been apologised to by the garage,” he said.

His father Alan Mitchinson stressed the incident was purely an accident, and it was ‘the first accident involving a customer’s car for 30 years.’ Insurance companies paid out £87,000 to Mr Leahy and £7,500 to the owner of the Ford Focus.

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