A 21-YEAR-OLD joyrider who took a double-decker bus on a terrifying journey around Amesbury, which ended up on YouTube, has been jailed for six months.

Sam David Hobson, of Lyndhurst Road, Amesbury, was sentenced at Salisbury Crown Court today for aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance and other than in accordance with a licence.

The frightening 25 minute joyride, which ended with the bus crashing into two cars, cost Wilts and Dorset bus company £26,000.

The court heard Hobson, together with two 16-year-old females who cannot be named, entered Amesbury bus station at 2.45am on June 18.

They found the rear emergency exit of the bus was unlocked and the keys in the ignition.

Hobson drove the bus out of the depot, along the A345 towards Salisbury before turning onto Winterslow Road and going along the edge of Boscombe Down airfield.

One of the 16-year-old girls took over driving and hit a tree, damaging the windscreen.

She then headed back to Amesbury towards the Archers Gate estate where they hit two parked cars and then fled.

They were identified and arrested because the bus was fitted with internal CCTV and Hobson also filmed the last five minutes on his phone - a clip which appeared on video sharing website YouTube a few days later and was shown in the court.

Prosecuting, Rachael Marshall told the court Hobson had a number of previous convictions, the most recent in September 2009 for failing to stop and failing to report an accident. He was also disqualified from driving in April for accumulating 12 points on his licence.

Defending Hobson, Sarah Langford said he had a number of difficulties, suffering from depression which was not helped by the amount of drugs and alcohol he has taken since the age of 15.

She said: “This offence has clearly been a wake up call, the tipping point in the escalation of his offending and lifestyle choices. As dangerous as it might have been the positive effect is that he has sought help.”

His Honour Judge John Dixon said: “I suppose if you’re going to break the law you might as well do it in some style. You and your passengers became a danger to yourselves and other people and serious damage was caused to this bus and two parked cars.

“I accept that you were not actually driving when control was lost but the fact is, as that film vividly showed, you were behind this escapade, you encouraged it. All three of you were the worse for drink and on top of that you were an uninsured driver.”

Judge Dixon said Hobson’s previous convictions showed a disregard for the law and only a prison sentence would be appropriate. He sentenced him to six months in prison and disqualified him from driving for 15 months. He said: “Just let this be a lesson to you not to be so stupid again.”

The two females will be dealt with by Salisbury Youth Court on Tuesday.