A TEENAGER accused of driving a stolen car before hitting a fence and causing more than £5,000 worth of damage is set to face a trial.

Ryan Peterson allegedly drove a Ford Fiesta, while knowing it had been taken without the consent of its owner, in Chapel Lane, Clacton.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard the 18-year-old lost control of the vehicle and hit a fence, causing damage to both the car and the property on March 1 last year.

Appearing via video link from Chelmsford Prison, Peterson, of Seasalter Close, Warden, Kent, spoke to confirm his name and denied one count of aggravated vehicle taking and vehicle damage of £5,000 or more.

Judge Mary Loram QC listed the case for trial for March 6 next year.

Addressing Peterson, Judge Loram said: “You need to serve a defence statement which sets out what you have to say about the allegations.

“It sounds really obvious but you must attend your trial.

"First of all, if you don’t that might be a criminal offence in itself, but it also means you lose the right to challenge the prosecution’s case and to give evidence in your case.”