Banned driver from Welshpool avoids jail

Reporter:

Keri Trigg

A man with 34 previous convictions was caught behind the wheel while banned from driving, a court heart.

Patrick Andrew Garner, 49, was banned from the roads for five years in January 2013 following a conviction for drink-driving and dangerous driving by Hamilton Sheriff Court in Scotland.

At Welshpool Magistrates’ Court this week, he admitted driving while disqualified and without insurance, after being stopped in Montgomery on March 26.

Garner, of Leighton View, Welshpool, had previously denied both charges but changed his plea.

Helen Tench, prosecuting, told the court that Garner was stopped by police and, as he was not listed on the insurance, the car was seized. It was then discovered that he was a disqualified driver.

Owain Jones, defending, said: “A long part of the ban had already been served.”

Julian Davies, from the probation service, said: “He says he was fixing his son’s car on the day and he later decided to take the car for a spin to see if it was working.

“He thought his ban had finished. He feels stupid about what he has done.”

Discussing Garner’s previous convictions and personal circumstances, Mr Davies said: “Alcohol is linked to some of his previous offending behaviour, but he says he no longer drinks alcohol or uses drugs.

“He did engage with Kaleidoscope on a previous order.”

He added Garner had 34 previous convictions relating to 84 offences. Of these, 28 were for violence, 27 were fraud or theft, and nine were for failing to surrender to bail or failing to comply with a community order.

In terms of driving offences, Garner had been given a 12 month driving ban in 2005 for drink driving and a three-year ban in 2007 for failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

In 2013, he had been convicted of dangerous driving and drink-driving, resulting in the five-year ban he was still serving.

He was jailed in 2015 for breaching the ban and driving with no insurance, but had since successfully completed post-sentence supervision, said Mr Davies.

Garner was given a 14-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, and was given a new 18-month driving ban.

As part of his suspended sentence, he must complete 20 thinking skills sessions and 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He must also pay £85 costs and a £115 surcharge.

Email:

keri.trigg@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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