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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 November, 2003, 14:44 GMT
Player's car crash 'initiation'
Dundee Sheriff Court
A university student stole an expensive car and crashed it in a rugby club initiation rite, a court has heard.

Jonathon Cummins, 22, a student at Dundee University, was described by his lawyer as "amazingly stupid".

Cummins, from the Republic of Ireland, was dared by his team mates to steal a 13,000 BMW and have his picture taken in it before returning it. But he ended up crashing into a tree and running off.

Sheriff Richard Davidson suggested that if the university rugby club thought it was an appropriate initiation rite then it should be disbanded.

This is not the usual initiation. Normally it is nothing more harmful than running into a pub and ordering drinks in your boxer shorts
Rugby club spokesman
The university stressed that it did not condone such behaviour and has asked for a report on the case.

A rugby club spokesman said Cummins still played for the side and added: "I think he probably wanted to prove he was a bigger man than the rest of us by pulling off the biggest stunt.

"This is not the usual initiation. Normally it is nothing more harmful than running into a pub and ordering drinks in your boxer shorts."

The city's sheriff court heard how Cummins visited a dealership and stole the keys to the car on 22 September. He the returned on 5 October and stole the car.

However, when police chased him after clocking him driving at 80 mph, the student lost control and wrote the car off.

Cummins, from Bishopstown, in Co Cork, ran away but later reported to a police station.

Sheriff Richard Davidson told Cummins: "If the rugby club at Dundee University thinks this is an appropriate way of initiation, maybe it is about time they disbanded."

Total cost

Cummins' solicitor, Kenneth Ross, said: "This is amazing stupidity for someone at university and he bitterly regrets the incident. He was dared to take a car, have his photo taken with it and return it safely."

Sentence was deferred for a report on the total cost of damages arising from the crash.

A university spokesman said: "The university does not condone illegal or disruptive behaviour during club activities.

"The university will contact the fiscal's office to get a report on the outcome of the case.

"It will consider internal disciplinary proceedings based on the case and the severity of the charge."

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