Car driver given four months in prison


A Banbridge man convicted of his third driving while disqualified offence was sentenced to four months in prison last Thursday at the local court.

Kevin Dale (29), Grove Hill, Banbridge, admitted driving while disqualified on January 30 this year, not having insurance and taking a vehicle without the consent of the owner.

He was given a four month custodial sentence, banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay a £25 offender’s levy. Dale had also been made the subject of a combination order comprising probation and 100 hours community service on October 8 last year for a burglary offence.

The probation service applied at last week’s court to have this order revoked as Dale had not attended community placement on two occasions.

Revoking this order Deputy District Judge Rosalie Prytherch replaced it with a three month prison sentence. Both prison terms are to run concurrently. Dale was released on his own bail to appeal against the sentences.

The court heard that on January 30 at 9.20pm police saw the defendant driving a car in Grove Hill. He admitted he was disqualified, had no insurance and had taken his partner’s car without her consent.

A barrister representing Dale said he knew it was unacceptable for him to be behind the wheel of any vehicle. He explained that the defendant had been out fishing with some friends and had returned home to get some welly boots. The lawyer added that Dale made the crazy decision to take the car even though he was only half a mile from his friend’s house and could easily have walked.

“It was beyond comprehension that he would take the vehicle such a short distance,” he said. The barrister explained that Dale was now in full time and asked the court to give him one final opportunity to complete his community service.

Judge Prytherch pointed out that the defendant had been convicted of driving while disqualified in November of last year and the latest offence was his third of a similar nature.