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

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.

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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.

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“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.