Grantham court: Disqualifed motorcyclist caught at protected site

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A motorcyclist narrowly avoided custody after driving while disqualified on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Daniel Witheridge, aged 27, of Thomas Road, Kegworth changed his plea to guilty before trial and was sentenced at Grantham magistrates.

The court heard how at 11.30am on March 29 police officers were conducting an operation tackling the use of cars and other motorised vehicles on Viking Way.

Prosecutor Daniel Pietryka said the police saw the defendant and another male in the area with an on and off road motorbike.

They were spoken to by the officers, who established that Witheridge was actually disqualified from driving until November 12.

Defending, Nabeel Gatrad said that Witheridge had intially been riding his 450cc KTM motorcycle on a private road, but then ‘stupidly’ went on to the public highway for 1.2 miles which is when he was seen by police.

Mr Gatrad said that Witheridge had fully co-operated with the officers, and had not committed another offence since then.

He added that his client, who is a father of three young children and employed as a building site labourer, had said of the offence ‘It was stupid’ and ‘I made a massive mistake’, while Mr Gatrad also read out a letter by Witheridge expressing his regret.

Witheridge had previously been disqualified from driving for a year last November at Loughborough magistrates’ court.

As a result of breaching the ban, Grantham magistrates extended the disqualification by a further six months, and said to Witheridge: “You have escaped custody by the skin of your teeth.”

Instead he was given a community order to complete 250 hours of unpaid work, for which he will be under supervision for six months, and must also pay costs of £120 and a victim surcharge of £60.