Banned driver caught behind the wheel after trip to McDonald's

A banned South Tyneside motorist found himself back in court when he took the wheel from his girlfriend after a trip to a McDonald’s.

Robert Laws, 38, was pulled over by police in Shields Road, Bill Quay, over suspicions about his vehicle’s registration details.

Laws, of Hedgeley Road, Hebburn, confessed at the roadside on Friday, August 26, to not being uninsured, borough magistrates heard.

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But further checks also revealed the asbestos stripper was subject to a driving disqualification until December.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

He has now had his ban extended by six months and been hit with fines and court costs of £1,600.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Winchester said: “At approximately 7pm, officers were conducting mobile patrols around the Gateshead area.

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“They were driving on the Felling Bypass when they saw a Vauxhall Astra being driven by the defendant.

“His vehicle undertook the police car, and it then undertook other vehicles, before taking a left turn into Shields Road.

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“They followed for a short period of time and did their checks.

“Information showed the car was insured to a male in Cumbria but registered to Mr Laws.

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“The vehicle was stopped, and the officers spoke to Mr Laws. He admitted he did not have insurance.

“Other checks showed that he was banned from driving until December of this year.”

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Laws, who has 11 previous convictions, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

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Charlton Carr, defending, said: “He pleaded guilty immediately. I would say there are no aggravating features.

“It’s said that he was driving with a little bit of speed and undertaking but I would have thought that doing that on a dual carriageway wasn’t a factor.

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“He bought the car for his girlfriend. They were out in the car and had been to a McDonald’s.

“They were driving home, and she was having difficulties driving, the car was new to her.

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“He agreed to drive it, rather foolishly, to the home address. It was an isolated incident.”

Magistrates fined Laws £1,083, with a £433 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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He was handed a fresh nine-month driving ban, extending his disqualification by six months.