A RECKLESS teenage driver smashed into two parked vehicles whilst 'racing' his pal through Kilmacolm.

Ross Holmes — who was later caught carrying a knife — lost control of his Volkswagen Polo at 'excessive speed' on Port Glasgow Road.

Shocked witnesses looked on as the 19-year-old's car mounted the footpath and crashed, resulting in 'extensive damage' to all three vehicles.

Holmes told police afterwards: "I take full responsibility — I was racing my pal."

Greenock Sheriff Court heard how two witnesses travelling in the opposite direction saw the late-night incident unfold shortly after 10pm on April 2.

Prosecutor Saud Ul Hassan said: "A man exited the car he was in and took possession of the accused's car key to stop him from driving off.

"When cautioned and charged, the accused stated, 'I'm to blame and I regret it'."

However, the following month Holmes was seen at Boglestone Community Centre with an offensive weapon in the form of a multi-tool device which had a three-inch blade extended from it.

Fiscal depute Mr Ul Hassan said: "The accused appeared to be agitated and intoxicated.

"Community wardens were contacted and they saw the accused turn towards them in possession of the multi-tool.

"He was ordered to drop it, which he did."

Holmes, previously of Drumillan Hill in Braeside, told police that he had the knife for 'self defence'.

Defence lawyer Gerry Keenan said that his client had accepted his culpability for the driving offence 'immediately and spontaneously'.

Mr Keenan told the court that Holmes had been out out of the family home as a result of drug taking and was 'living in his car'.

He said: "He says he was subjected to a crime of violence whereby his Apple notebook computer was stolen while he was sleeping rough.

"He had a heightened sense of isolation and vulnerability.

"What he had was a perception that he might become the victim of a further crime."

Holmes is now living with a friend in Tarbert where he is employed as a deckhand, the court heard.

Sheriff Andrew McIntyre told him: "The public will rightly be concerned that you were going about a public place with a knife.

"You were racing your car and your degree of culpability is of concern to me, and will be of concern to the community."

Holmes was placed on supervision for a year and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work within nine months as a direct alternative to a custodial sentence.

He has also been banned from driving for five months.