Hartlepool man ‘smelled of cannabis’ when caught riding scooter on the pavement

The case was heard at Teesside Magistrates' Court.
The case was heard at Teesside Magistrates' Court.

A scooter rider has been banned from all forms of driving after riding on a pavement while under the influence of drugs.

A suspicious police community support officer thought he could smell cannabis when he stopped Dean Vaughan in Rossmere Way, Hartlepool, and so took him to a police station to carry out tests.

They revealed that Vaughan’s system contained illegal limits of delta 9 cannabis and benzoylecgonine, a derivative of cocaine.

Justices have now banned him from the road for a year and ordered him to pay £190 in penalties and costs.

Lynne Dalton, prosecuting, told Teesside Magistrates’ Court that Vaughan rode past an officer on a motorised scooter near the junction with Dumfries Road on Saturday, February 4, at around 2pm.

She added: “The officer saw the defendant driving his scooter on the pavement.

“He was stopped and the officer could smell cannabis on him.”

While possessing controlled drugs such as cannabis or cocaine are criminal offences, the levels found within a motorist’s system have to be over certain levels for that user to charged with drug driving.

In Vaughan’s case he was 25 per cent over the legal limits for both charges.

Vaughan, 20, of Sydenham Road, off Stockton Road, Hartlepool, admitted two counts of drug driving and was fined £120, ordered to pay a victim’s surcharge of £30 and told to contribute £30 in court costs.

After learning he was on benefits, magistrates ordered him to pay back the £190 total at a rate of £5 a week.

Neil Taylor, mitigating, said Vaughan suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

He added: “He is a cannabis user. 
“His problem is understanding how long the drug remains in his system.
“It stays in his system longer than alcohol does.

“As for the second charge, he thinks the drug was mixed with the cannabis he took.
“He did not knowingly take cocaine and it is a derivative of cocaine and not cocaine itself.”