A BANNED driver drove to the shop because his partner asked him to, a court heard.

Kenneth Chisholm appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to two charges of driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance on July 18 last year.

Laura Lax, prosecuting, said a police officer saw Chisholm behind the wheel of a silver Renault Laguna in Frosterley, in Teesdale.

A probation officer said: "It's quite straight forward, at the time he was in a relationship with a female who is very well known to our services. He reports that the relationship was quite difficult.

"She asked him to drive her to a shop in Frosterley, which he did, and he was then caught on cctv. He thought his ban had finished but understands that he needed to resit an extended test."

Chisholm, of Simpson Road, West Auckland, was banned from driving for six months and given a 12 month community order. He must also pay £85 costs and £90 victim surcharge.