Disqualified driver who ‘forgot’ details of his ban caught behind the wheel in Jarrow

A cocktail of confusion caused by dyslexia and forgetfulness led to a banned motorist being caught at the wheel in South Tyneside, a court heard.

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Keith Jenkins, 35, believed his six-month disqualification had ended when he drove a Ford Transit on the A194 Leam Lane in Jarrow on Friday, July 7.

But Jenkins, of Brockwade, Leam Lane, Gateshead, had around another seven weeks of his disqualification to serve.

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He had misunderstood a message from the government’s DVLA, relayed to him by a friend, which he thought confirmed his ban was over.

And he had forgotten the date his disqualification was imposed, bringing it a month forward in his own mind.

His double blunder meant he was driving illegally when pulled over by patrolling police, borough magistrates were told.

South Tyneside Magistrates' CourtSouth Tyneside Magistrates' Court
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court

They branded his mistake as “silly” – then showed leniency by imposing six penalty points, sparing him from a possible new disqualification.

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Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “He came to the attention of the police because they saw a male driving and a check showed the vehicle was insured to a female.

“He was banned on February 27 and this offence was July 7. He was towards the end of his disqualification.”

Jenkins pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

His ban stemmed from a previous driving while disqualified offence, itself imposed for an original crime of failing to report an accident to police.

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Gerry Armstrong, defending, said: “You can see the seriousness of this case to the police.

“At 2.55pm they stop his vehicle and at 3pm he is told he will get a summons in the post. That’s how the police viewed it.

“He got his dates wrong, he thought that he got his disqualification in January.

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“He says he contacted the DVLA. He got someone to do it for him because he has dyslexia.

The DVLA says that you can apply for your licence back 30 days before the end of a disqualification.

“He was told his application was accepted but that did not mean he could drive. The police could see that there had been a mistake.”

Magistrates also imposed a standalone 12-month community order, with a sole requirement of 45 hours of unpaid work, and Jenkins must pay a £114 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.