Banned driver is spared jail despite being caught behind the wheel again

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A banned driver blasted by magistrates for showing a ‘total disregard’ for the rules of the road has been spared jail after being caught behind the wheel by police.

Alan Fox was spotted by eagle-eyed cops travelling through Newcastle Road, in South Shields, in a Ford Focus vehicle - despite being disqualified for the past four years.

The 50-year-old is unable to drive again until he passes an extended re-test.

Fox, of Northcote Street, South Shields, admitted driving while disqualified and using a motor vehicle without insurance at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

He initially denied both matters before changing his plea before his trial date.

Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “At 9.40am on Wednesday, March 2, on-duty police saw the defendant driving in Newcastle Road, South Shields.

“A radio check confirmed he had no insurance and was disqualified from driving.

“Police stopped the vehicle and the defendant admitted in a roadside interview he was disqualified from driving but believed he was insured.”

Catherine Fowle, defending, said: “There was an issue raised over the disqualification and the situation regarding him having to sit an extended re-test.

“But arrangements were made for him to enter guilty pleas.”

Gary Cracknell, chair of the magistrates, said: “You know you shouldn’t be driving. You showed a total disregard for the rules of the road.”

Fox was given an eight-week jail sentence - suspended for 12 months - and given a further 12-month driving ban.