Banned driver wept in court where he was jailed for being twice the drink drive limit in South Shields

A banned driver caught behind the wheel while almost double the drink-drive limit in South Tyneside has been jailed.

Thursday, 11th June 2020, 6:26 pm
Craig Dickinson, 26, of Bunyan Avenue, Biddick Hall, was spotted in his newly-bought 2006-plate Ford Focus by sharp-eyed police who recognised him from earlier offending, a court heard.

Craig Dickinson, 26, of Bunyan Avenue, Biddick Hall, was spotted in his newly-bought 2006-plate Ford Focus by sharp-eyed police who recognised him from earlier offending, a court heard.

They pulled him over at 10.10pm on Monday, June 8, in Bertram Street, South Shields, and checks confirmed he was disqualified until February 2022.

The repeat offender was given a two-year ban in May 2018 for driving while already disqualified, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.

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And he was caught again in the driver’s seat just nine months later, in February 2019 – and handed a fresh three-year disqualification.

Dickinson, who wept throughout his video link hearing from custody, has now been put behind bars for 12 weeks in a bid to curb his motoring criminality.

Sentencing Dickinson, John Lee, chairman of the magistrates’ bench, said: “When you were first banned from driving you would have been told not to drive during the term of your ban.

“Here we are this afternoon and this is your third offence for driving while disqualified.

“You drove while disqualified and you were almost twice the legal limit for alcohol. We have no alternative but to pass an immediate custodial sentence.”

Prosecutor Paul Anderson told the court: “These are simple facts. It’s Monday evening and a police officer sees a black Ford Focus being driven by this man in the South Shields area.

“It is stopped by officers in Bertram Street. The defendant is frank with the officers and accepts that he was disqualified from driving.

“He is breathalysed and is approaching twice the legal limit. His current ban is not due to end until February 5, 2022.

“The problem he’s got is that he has two previous driving-while-disqualified and the new one and it is aggravated by the drink-drive.”

Kevin Smallcombe, defending, said: “He is not heavily convicted but certainly his offences are of a similar nature.

“It’s accepted that these offences would ordinarily cause a loss of liberty. As you can see he is distraught, upset.

“He looks after his elderly mother, she is 50 and has problems with her lungs. He carries out most of her shopping and he has responsibility for that.

“The most powerful mitigation that I can give is caring for a relative who has genuine health needs.

“He had a Ford C-Max car which he purchased recently and was going to turn around for a small income or profit.”

The court was told Dickinson’s breath test reading showed 62mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcgs.

Dickinson pleaded guilty to drink-driving, driving while disqualified and driving with insurance.

He was handed a 12-week jail term for driving while disqualified four weeks for drink-driving, to run concurrently.

There was no separate penalty for driving without insurance but he must pay a victim surcharge and court costs totalling £213.

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