Man jailed for driving twice while banned

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

A man who drove twice, even though he had been disqualified just months beforehand, has been sentenced to six months in prison.

Jonathan Stewart Dickson (37), whose addresses were given as Glenavon Crescent, Lurgan, and Woodvale Park, Dungannon, appeared at Craigavon Magistrates Court on Friday.

He pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and disorderly behaviour.

The defendant was stopped by police on August 15 in Church Place, Lurgan, and again in the same area on November 15.

On both occasions, police checks revealed he was a disqualified driver and had no insurance. He had been disqualified in May.

His solicitor said the defendant was a married man, with a nine-year-old daughter, who was unemployed and suffered from anxiety and depression. He said that on the first occasion he drove while disqualified he thought he wouldn’t get caught and that on the second, he was taking a friend to hospital.

He added, “He has got rid of any form of vehicle and has now got a push bike. I would ask you to give him one more chance.”

Judge Bernie Kelly said this was the defendant’s “umpteenth no insurance offence.” She said, “This isn’t just a one-off. This is repeat behaviour, over and over and over again. On the basis of that, there is only one penalty I can impose.”

She sentenced him to three months in prison on each driving while disqualified charge, making six months in total.

Dickson also pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly behaviour on September 17 in Colban Crescent, Lurgan, and was sentenced to one month in prison to run concurrently.

The court heard the police were called to a noisy party and while they were dealing with the matter, the defendant ran into the street “shouting and swearing”. He was cautioned but persisted.

Judge Kelly refused bail, noting that the defendant “will be starting 2017 in HMP Maghaberry”.