Disqualified driver who took dad’s car has ‘20-page record’

West Yorkshire Police have had body-worn cameras supplied by US firm Taser
West Yorkshire Police have had body-worn cameras supplied by US firm Taser

A disqualified driver who took his father’s car has been jailed for 14 weeks.

Gareth Brackstone, 29, of Challoner Road, Hartlepool, was reported to the police by a concerned member of the public, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.

“It was about 2am in the morning,” said David Carmichael, prosecuting. “The informant reported a man who appeared unfit to drive was about to get into a Vauxhall Astra at Wolviston services.

“Police attended and followed the Astra at slow speed, before it came to rest on the A689 near Wynyard Business Park.

“The driver gave a name which turned out to be false.

“He also appeared to be under the influence of drink or drugs.”

The court heard Brackstone failed a roadside test for drugs.

“He was arrested,” Mr Carmichael added. “A blood test at the police station for drugs proved negative.

“There were traces of drugs in his system, but not above the legal limit so he was not charged with anything in relation to that.

“However, when his correct identity was established it became apparent he was a disqualified driver.

“Brackstone said the car belonged to his father, and he conceded he had taken it without permission.

“He has a long record for driving and other matters which runs to 20 pages.”

Brackstone admitted driving while disqualified, taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, driving without insurance, and being in breach of an earlier conditional discharge for theft, all on March 24.

Neil Taylor, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Brackstone is realistic and knows where he is likely to be going today.

“He does want to sort out his problems with drugs, and feels a short period of imprisonment may help him do that.”

Brackstone was jailed for 14 weeks, disqualified from driving for 12 months, and orderd to pay £80 costs.