A MAN jailed for breaching a court curfew order claimed he was looking for the household cat at the time, a court heard.

Matthew Carlyon, 38, received a 12-week sentence, suspended for a year, by County Durham magistrates on March 16, for driving while disqualified and with three different drugs in his system, on roads in the Stanley area, on August 7, last year.

As part of the suspended sentence order the defendant was made subject of an electronically-monitored home curfew.

Just four days after the sentence was passed, however, he was in breach of the order, as he was not present at home 20 minutes beyond the curfew deadline.

As a result, he went back to court for breaching the suspended sentence, on May 27, when the magistrates activated all 12 weeks of the original sentence.

Appealing against that sentence, at Durham Crown Court, Jamie Adams, representing Carlyon, said it was unfair to activate the full 12 weeks.

“It was a single breach, being out after curfew for 20 minutes, at a time he would say he was searching for a cat, a house cat.”

Judge Ray Singh, hearing the appeal alongside a magistrate, told Carlyon, of Duffy Terrace, Annfield Plain, he has, “an appalling list of previous offences”, and he could not have complained if he received an immediate sentence in March.

“This does not come close to being unjust.

“It was an almost immediate breach and, as a result, I would have fully expected the activation to be in full.

“So, our view is that the sentence was correct and your appeal is dismissed.”