Cannabis user caught drug driving for the second time in five years claims he uses drugs to sleep

He faced a minimum 36-month disqualification in court.

Photo by Northumbria PolicePhoto by Northumbria Police
Photo by Northumbria Police

A part-time South Tyneside mechanic put a spanner in the works of his career when he was caught drug driving for a second time, a court heard.

Kieron’s Arnold’s cannabis blunder has led to a three-year roads’ ban which will limit his ability to carry out his duties within his father’s business.

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Arnold, of Massingham Way, West Harton, South Shields, was first caught driving with drugs in his system at an illegal level in 2018, prosecutor Mike Lawson said.

But he failed to learn his lesson and repeated the act again Saturday, July 8 last year, having smoked cannabis recreationally to help him get to sleep.

Mr Lawson told borough magistrates: “The facts are that police were on mobile patrol when they spotted the defendant driving a VW Golf.

“He was holding his mobile phone. The police believe that he saw them, they were in a marked car."

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“He drove into Lonsdale Court. When his car came to a stop, two males exited and walked out of sight. The defendant was the driver.

“He was placed in the back of the police vehicle while checks were performed. An officer states that the defendant smelled of cannabis, and the smell was also coming from his car.

“Two blood samples were taken at a police station. He does have a previous conviction for drug driving in 2018. The minimum disqualification is 36 months.”

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Arnold pleaded guilty to a charge of drug driving. He gave a reading for cannabis derivative THC of 2.4mcg in blood. The legal limit is 2mcg.

Under the two-strikes-in-ten-years rule, he faced a minimum 36-month disqualification.

Joanne Gatens, defending, said: “He confirms to me that he received a call from his partner that his daughter wasn’t well and there was consideration of taking her to hospital.

“He says that he’s a recreational cannabis user, it helps him to get to sleep. I accept that he has one conviction which is an aggravating factor.

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“He is a mechanic, he works in his father’s business. A disqualification is going to impact heavily on the business and what he can do in the business.”

As well as a ban, magistrates fined Arnold £120, with £85 court costs and a £48 victim surcharge.

They urged him to seek an alternative solution to cannabis to deal with his sleep woes.

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