Banned driver’s deathbed mercy mission

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A BANNED motorist got into his car on a futile mercy mission to prevent his dying uncle spending his last hours alone, a court was told.

Kenneth Grainger received a telephone call from his father on the night of November 23 to tell him that his uncle, who was being cared for in a nursing home, was close to death.

As his father was agoraphobic, and unable to leave home, Grainger took it upon himself to visit his dying uncle.

But en route he was involved in a minor collision with another car at Crossgate in South Shields.

The driver of the vehicle contacted police, who stopped Grainger’s VW Passat car on the town’s Coast Road.

Investigations revealed he had been banned from driving for 12 months in June under the totting-up procedure.

Grainger was arrested and was unable to visit his uncle, who died later that same night.

At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, Grainger, 32, of Hollin Hill Road, Concord, Washington, admitted a charge of driving while disqualified.

He received an eight-week suspended prison sentence, and an 18-month supervision order and was banned from driving for 12 months.

He was also placed on a 12-week curfew order from 7pm to 7am, and fined £180.

The court was told that, as a result of his arrest, he has had his £2,000 car crushed because it was about to be confiscated.

Philippa Riley, prosecuting, said: “He received a call from his father to say his uncle was close to death.

“His father was very agitated and distressed and was concerned that his brother might die alone.

“His father did not ask him to visit his uncle, but he made the very foolish decision to take his car.

“His uncle died in the early hours of that day, with no-one present.”