A MAN who has spent more than a year in prison after taking a car and driving dangerously is to be let out with no convictions for the incident.

Paul Dittebrandt, of no fixed abode, appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court for sentence on Friday afternoon.

The 41-year-old had initially been charged with offences including burglary (other than dwelling), taking a motor vehicle without consent, criminal damage, driving without a valid licence and driving a motor vehicle without insurance at a premises on Conway Road, Llandudno Junction.

But due to him being unfit to plead, a finding of fact hearing went ahead - instead of a trial.

At the hearing, a Jury found that Dittebrandt had committed two acts; the taking of the motor vehicle and dangerous driving.

This week in Caernarfon, he was due to be sentenced - with Judge Timothy Petts explaining that for those in Dittebrandt's position (who had been found to have committed crimes in a finding of fact hearing due to being unfit to plead), only three options are available.

They are a hospital order, a supervision order, or an absolute discharge.

Judge Petts told the court that following a "protracted history" in this case, the conclusion had been reached that  Dittebrandt's health had improved since the finding of fact - and that a hospital order or supervision order would no longer be suitable for him.

That put the court in the "very unusual situation" of having no option but to give him an absolute discharge - after Dittebrandt had spent since October 2022 in custody as the case progressed.

The Judge told Dittebrandt: "I think the end of the road has been reached - Mr Dittebrandt the law is clear that when you've been found to have committed acts after not being fit to plead the court has three options - and none of them are really ideal in this case.

"We can't send you to hospital because you don't need it and regarding probation intervention by way of a supervision order, that's not going to work.

"That means the only option I have, and the order I make, is your absolute discharge.

"I do so with great reluctance - I am concerned as to what will happen to you and what you will do when released.

"You will have to take all the help you can get from any services that can be provided on your release.

"Hopefully your mental health and other situations stabilise.

"This may not be what you want but I'm afraid it's all I can do.

"I don't think it's right or fair to keep you in prison any longer."

The Judge added that while it felt "odd," he could not impose a driving ban on Dittebrandt, as he hadn't convicted.

"It's an unfortunate, unsatisfactory situation," he said.