YouTube beach joyriders in court

Two men have received a six-month conditional discharge after film of them joyriding on protected sands appeared on YouTube.

Paul Gilmore, 30, and Osmond Pearson, 29, were arrested after the film of them doing handbrake turns appeared on the video-sharing website last year.

The footage of the incident on the Holy Island causeway was seen in May by a wildlife conservationist who reported the clip to the police.

The beach at Holy Island is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

At Newcastle Crown Court, Mr Pearson, of Greencroft Avenue, Newcastle, admitted he had filmed the clip and posted it on YouTube.

Sentencing, Recorder Jeremy Freedman said it was clear the video had been made as a prank. "I accept you did not realise what you were doing was unlawful," he said.

Mitigating for Mr Gilmore, who admitted careless driving, Paul Cross said: "The area was an SSSI but he did not know that. There were no signs to say so."

Mr Pearson admitted aiding and abetting careless driving.

Both men were given a six-month conditional discharge, and three penalty points were attached to each of their driving licences.

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