A banned driver who stole a van while he was drunk has been jailed for 36 weeks.

Jason Liam Christian drove to the hospital with his friend who had injured his hand.

Christian, who is 31, pleaded guilty to drink-driving, driving while disqualified and taking a vehicle without consent, and was sentenced to 12 weeks’ custody for each offence, to run consecutively.

During a previous court appearance, the passenger in the car, Lee Cowell, aged 48, of Darragh Passage, Douglas, admitted knowingly being a passenger in a stolen car and was fined £300.

We previously reported that, on July 11 at 3am, Christian and Cowell arrived at Accident and Emergency at Noble’s Hospital seeking medical treatment, after it was alleged that Cowell had hit a cigarette disposal unit and injured his hand.

They came in a van marked Stewart Clague Services Limited.

Police were called and when they arrived, at 3.50am, they saw Christian driving the van with Cowell in the passenger seat.

They were spoken to and Christian was described as smelling of alcohol, having glazed eyes, and a laboured demeanour.

Police contacted the employee in Ramsey, to whom the van was linked, and he checked outside, then confirmed that it was missing and said that he hadn’t given anyone permission to take it.

He said that the keys were usually in his kitchen but he could not be sure that they had not been in the van.

Christian, who lives at Bircham Avenue Close in Ramsey, was in breach of a 12-month probation order, imposed in June after he told emergency services he was going to ‘cut people’s heads off’ with a chainsaw, and was also disqualified from driving until 2027.

Defence advocate Peter Taylor said that his client’s very extensive record was highlighted in the probation report.

‘There is no doubt the custody threshold has been passed,’ said the advocate.

‘We would ask the court to consider suspending the sentence.

‘There was no evidence of poor driving and no damage to the vehicle.

‘There were no incidents between Ramsey and the hospital.

‘I’m not the first advocate to stand here and ask for a final chance for his client.

‘But like other advocates we have to look at rehabilitation.

‘Mr Christian’s offending is linked to his addiction to alcohol.

‘Until he addresses that, he will continue making these poor decisions and will continue being back and forth from prison.’

Mr Taylor said that probation was hopeful of finding a way forward for the defendant and that a prison sentence would mean Christian would lose his accommodation, as well as his one-to-one support from the drug and alcohol team.

The advocate said that Christian had abstained from drinking alcohol since July 11 and had been trying to keep himself fit, and that a suspended sentence would hang over him like the sword of Damocles.

Magistrates also gave Christian a new five-year driving ban and ordered him to take an extended test at the end of it, and to complete a drink-driving rehabilitation course.