Grantham court: Banned motorist drove to drink driver course

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A disqualified motorist took a chance and decided to drive to a drink driver awareness course at Grantham Fire Station.

Peter Daniel Smith, 28, of Eaton Close, Beeston, admitted driving while disqualified and driving without insurance on November 30.

Prosecuting, Marie Stace told the court that police were made aware Smith was disqualified and they stopped him on the A52 on his way back from the fire station, at about 4pm.

Rob Arthur, defending, said Smith had attended the drink driver course following his conviction in 2014. He said a friend had been due to take Smith to the fire station that day, but had let him down.

Mr Arthur said Smith was desperate to get to the course and complete a community requirement. He added: “He took a chance. He was stopped on his way back and fully accepted he was driving there.”

The court heard that Smith was a carpenter by trade and that there was no suggestion he had tried to evade detection. Mr Arthur said his client “bitterly regrets coming back to court”.

In a probation report, it was said that Smith had made changes in his life following his conviction for drink driving, which made his decision to drive that day “all the more galling”. Everything seemed to be going well in his life until that day.

The magistrates imposed a community order of 12 months on Smith, which includes 100 hours of unpaid work.

They also disqualified him from driving for 20 months for the insurance offence, which extends his existing ban by six months. He was also ordered to pay a criminal courts charge of £150, a victim surcharge of £60 and costs of £85.