A 20-YEAR-old man has been charged with travelling in an ambulance - worth more than £250,000 - that was allegedly taken illegally and then crashed into a lamppost.

Tony McVey appeared at St Helens Magistrates’ Court to face a charge of allowing himself to be carried in an emergency vehicle that was taken without consent.

It is alleged it was illegally driven away from St Helens ambulance depot on Jackson Street on Thursday, October 22 before smashing into a lamppost.

Prosecutors told the court that at around 2.20am, police officers stationed near McDonalds Drive-thru restaurant on the St Helens Linkway noticed the ambulance, without lights and a siren in operation, being driven erratically on the roundabout, at one point almost tipping over.

The officers pursued the vehicle along Sherdley Road, where it struck a lamppost, causing damage to the roof.

Two men dressed in dark clothing were allegedly seen clambering from the passenger side and heading towards a nearby caravan site. One man was later arrested.

Appearing at court, McVey, of Hempstead Close, Sutton Heath, was fined £100 by District Judge Ian Lomax after admitting a separate charge of being in possession of cannabis.

He was refused bail and remanded in custody ahead of a further court appearance over the ambulance charge.