Grantham court: Disqualified driver had never passed his test

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When police stopped a driver in Grantham they discovered he had never passed his test and he was already disqualified.

Elvis Ian Stooke, 33, of Dudley Road, Grantham, admitted driving while disqualified, without a licence and without insurance on December 7 when he appeared before the town’s magistrates.

Prosecutor Marie Stace told the court that Stooke was stopped by police in Dudley Road.

He told them he thought he had only been disqualified for six months and if he had known he could not drive he would not have got behind the wheel.

Miss Stace said Stooke admitted he had not passed a driving test and he had told officers “it was on his list to do”.

Stooke had previously been disqualified from driving in April 2012.

Stooke, who was not represented, told the magistrates he was aware he could be facing a custodial sentence.

He said: “I totally regret doing it.”

Stooke, an assistant manager with Little Chef, added: “I am a hard-working person and a custodial sentence would mean losing my job and my home.”

He said he had all the paperwork ready to go for a licence, but he had kept failing the theory test because his reading was not very good.

He also said that three days before, his daughter had been in touch with him. He had not seen her for 13 years and he did not want to put their relationship in jeopardy.

When the officers stopped him, his partner had been feeling tired and had had problems with her contact lenses so he had made the mistake of choosing to drive.

Stooke said: “There is no excuse. I should have told my partner at the time and taken a taxi home.”

Magistrates told Stooke he had come close to going to prison.

For driving while disqualfied, he was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and pay a victim surcharge of £80.

He was also disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to pay £85 costs.

No separate penalties were made for the offences of having no insurance and no licence.