Banned driver branded ‘risk to the public’

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A BANNED driver who bought a car to “do it up” was caught behind the wheel just weeks after he was disqualified.

James Dean Thompson was stopped driving the Citroen Saxo car by police in Kathleen Street, Hartlepool.

Officers’ checks showed he had been disqualified from driving just a month before and was also uninsured.

Thompson, who has been labelled by a magistrate as a “risk to the public”, admitted he has never had a driving licence when he was stopped just days after buying the vehicle.

Lilian Atkinson, prosecuting, told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court he was spotted at 11.50pm.

She added: “Checks showed the defendant was disqualified on April 11 this year until April next year.

“He was interviewed and fully admitted driving the car saying he’d only bought it a few days earlier.

“He confirmed he’d never had a driving licence and had never passed a test.”

Thompson, of Challoner Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and driving without insurance on June 11.

Mitigating, Adrian Morris said his client “deeply regretted” what he had done.

He said: “He is currently on a reduced rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance. He managed to save £250 to buy the car which needed a bit of work doing to it.

“The idea was to do it up and sell it on as quickly as possible.

“The work had been completed and he’d gone to take the vehicle out on a short journey when he was stopped and the usual checks were undertaken by the police officers.

“He didn’t try to disguise his identification which some in this position would have done.”

The chairman of the magistrates’ bench, John Jenkins, said Thompson proved a “risk to the public” because he was not licensed to drive and had no insurance.

He banned Thompson from driving for two-and-a-half years, sentenced him to 100 hours unpaid work, a 12-month community orde and ordered him to pay £85 costs.