Murton motorist pays price for repeated flouting of driving bans

The Northern Echo: Murton motorist jailed at Durham Crown Court for repeatedly disregarding driving disqualifications Murton motorist jailed at Durham Crown Court for repeatedly disregarding driving disqualifications

A MOTORIST finally paid the price today (Friday, January 17) for repeatedly flouting driving bans.

Simon James Smith was jailed for a total of 17-and-a-half months after Durham Crown Court heard he breached a suspended sentence for the second time by driving while disqualified.

The court was told passing police motor patrol officers spotted Smith at the wheel of a car on the opposite carriageway on the A688, between Durham and Spennymoor, at 12.40pm on July 15 last year.

Having turned round to pursue Smith’s car, the officers came upon it as he was trying to swap places with his partner, who had been the front seat passenger.

Sam Faulks, prosecuting, said despite initial prevarication, Smith conceded he drove the car from Durham Services.

He admitted driving while disqualified, but initially claimed he only took over at the wheel as his partner, a fully qualified and insured driver, suffered an asthma attack.

But, appearing at the court for a trial of issue, 27-year-old Smith, of Hawkins Road, Murton, east Durham, abandoned the asthma attack explanation.

Mr Faulks said the conviction put Smith in breach of suspended prison sentences imposed for theft of a Satellite Navigation system, fuel and alloy wheel trims from vehicles, in June and July, 2011, as well as for driving while disqualified and without insurance, in a police chase through Murton, on May 9, last year.

The court heard he has three previous convictions for driving while disqualified, dating from 2006 and 2007.

Paul Cross, mitigating, said Smith made early admissions, although he accepted he initially delayed proceedings with the asthma attack account for the offence in July.

Mr Cross said Smith’s partner is expecting a child in April and he is to start a factory job on Monday (January 20) which would improve the family finances.

But, Judge Christopher Prince told Smith he had finally run out of chances.

“You have a bad record and the offences we’re dealing with today took place only eight weeks after you were given a second suspended prison sentence.

“There appears a high risk of you re-offending in future.

“It’s quite clear you have no regard whatsoever for court orders and suspended sentences.”

Passing consecutive prison sentences of nine, four-and-a-half, and four months, Judge Prince also banned Smith from driving for further three years.

Comments (5)

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7:05pm Fri 17 Jan 14

No1 boss says...

Thug
Thug No1 boss
  • Score: 12

7:17pm Fri 17 Jan 14

David Lacey says...

Good decision.
Good decision. David Lacey
  • Score: 13

7:32pm Fri 17 Jan 14

behonest says...

There's an awful lot of court case stories recently where the Echo refuses to allow comments - although I notice this one is not censored - but such as the fraud cop one, and the 'I only burgled 'cos I'm hungry, honest' story.

There are quite disgraceful sentencing inconsistencies going on and the Echo should not censor the public, it should allow them to comment on these cases (unless the Echo is being leaned on). A Darlington landlord (Echo, yesterday I think) viciously beaten and suffered bad injuries, yet his attackers walk free; someone punches a horse and gets 12 months in jail. Etc! What's going on?
There's an awful lot of court case stories recently where the Echo refuses to allow comments - although I notice this one is not censored - but such as the fraud cop one, and the 'I only burgled 'cos I'm hungry, honest' story. There are quite disgraceful sentencing inconsistencies going on and the Echo should not censor the public, it should allow them to comment on these cases (unless the Echo is being leaned on). A Darlington landlord (Echo, yesterday I think) viciously beaten and suffered bad injuries, yet his attackers walk free; someone punches a horse and gets 12 months in jail. Etc! What's going on? behonest
  • Score: 15

9:10pm Fri 17 Jan 14

maur1 says...

I agree be honest the northern echo should either allow comments all cases or not at all ive noticed several I would comment on .............no way to do it come on northern echo it isn't fair
I agree be honest the northern echo should either allow comments all cases or not at all ive noticed several I would comment on .............no way to do it come on northern echo it isn't fair maur1
  • Score: 13

9:43am Sat 18 Jan 14

jps101 says...

If a driver suffers asthma attacks are they still allowed a driving licence? I find this questionable.

As for Northern Echo comments I agree with previous posts, we should be able to comment on all items, the echo isn't responsible for our comments.

I sometimes read an article mainly to see what other peoples views on it are, then find there's no comments allowed!
If a driver suffers asthma attacks are they still allowed a driving licence? I find this questionable. As for Northern Echo comments I agree with previous posts, we should be able to comment on all items, the echo isn't responsible for our comments. I sometimes read an article mainly to see what other peoples views on it are, then find there's no comments allowed! jps101
  • Score: 9

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