A BANNED driver seen riding a quad bike briefly “on road” has been given, “one final chance”, to avoid an immediate prison sentence.

Durham Crown Court heard that a police officer in Moor Crescent, Fishburn, saw a figure in dark clothing riding a large quad bike onto the road ahead on February 22, at 2.50pm.

Barry Robson, prosecuting, said the quad bike disappeared from view, but was suspected of turning into Fishburn Industrial Estate, and was located at a motor cycle repair shop.

Mr Robson said the only one of three people in the premises wearing dark clothing was recognised by the officer as 32-year-old Carl Blower, of Gordon Terrace, Ferryhill.

He denied having been riding the quad bike, but confirmed he didn’t have a full licence, and gave the name of another man, from Ferryhill.

A short time later he was seen reversing the quad bike out of the garage, ignoring advice to stop, and the officer had to take evasive action to avoid being injured.

The bike was then ridden onto the main road on the industrial estate and sped towards the Front Street, in Fishburn, but then disappeared from view.

Despite having provided the false name to police, Blower was later traced and arrested, and, at his first appearance before magistrates admitted driving while disqualified, without insurance or a test certificate.

The court heard his six convictions for 11 offences have seen him, “going up through the gears” of offending, and he was made subject of a suspended orison sentence for being concerned in the supply of cannabis, only on December 22.

Paul Cleasby, for Blower, told Judge James Adkin: “Your honour is probably glad to hear that the quad bike has been sold.

“The reality here is that quad bikes have to go on road, to be driven off road and he was disqualified at the time.

“His disqualification dates back to 2019 and there has been no repeat offending.

“Seven months has elapsed since this offence was committed and I’m sure he can be dealt with in the community, having complied with a curfew, previously.

Judge Adkin told Blower: “When I first read this case I was minded to pass an immediate prison sentence.

“Here, you were caught driving when forbidden by disqualification.”

But he added: “I’m prepared to give you one final chance.”

He imposed a four-month community order, with a 7pm to 7am home curfew for the first three months and ten days working with the Probation Service in rehabilitation activity sessions.

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