A JOYRIDER jailed for stealing a double decker bus and taking it on a terrifying journey around Amesbury served just nine weeks of his six-month sentence.

And 21-year-old Sam Hobson said prison “wasn’t that bad” and his fellow detainees had even seen the mobile phone recording of his crime posted on video-sharing website YouTube.

Hobson, of Lyndhurst Road, Amesbury, stole the bus from the town’s bus station in June last year, along with two 16-year-old accomplices.

The bus crashed into two parked cars and cost Wilts & Dorset bus company £26,000.

The footage of the incident posted on YouTube got about 65,000 hits.

Hobson was sentenced by Salisbury Crown Court in November to serve six months in prison for aggravated vehicle taking, driving while disqualified and without a licence or insurance.

He spent two and a half weeks at Winchester prison before he was moved to Woodhill, a category A prison, because of overcrowding.

He was released on January 21 after serving less than two months of his sentence and contacted the Journal in order to speak out about his experience of prison and his plans for the future.

He said: “I was worried about going to prison, but when I got there it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. There were people playing music and Playstation.

“I thought it would be like you see on films, but everyone seemed to get on.”

Despite prison not being the frightening place he imagined, Mr Hobson said he will not be repeating the experience. “I wouldn’t really want to go back there again, I have learnt my lesson.”

He is now on a tag curfew between 7.15pm and 7.15am each night until February 17 and will remain on licence until May 18.

He said he was surprised by the consequences of his drunken mistake. “I didn’t realise at the time how serious it was. I didn’t plan to take it. I just seized the opportunity because it was unlocked and the keys were there.

“I couldn’t believe all the hits on YouTube. I kept expecting to see it on TV on world’s dumbest criminals or something like that, people in prison had heard about it.”

Mr Hobson, who has an NVQ level 2 in HGV mechanics and light vehicle mechanics, hopes to find work as a mechanic and would eventually like to own his own garage.

A couple of years ago he even had an interview to become a mechanic at Wilts & Dorset but had already started another job when they called him for a second interview.