Suspended jail term for man who breached driving ban


Just a month after he was banned from the roads a Banbridge man was spotted driving in the area, the local court heard last Thursday.

Paul Bingham (24) of Chinauley Park admitted driving while disqualified and driving without insurance on December 17 last year.

For the first offence he was sentenced to five months in prison, suspended for two years, fined £300 and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy. He was also banned from driving for two years. For the insurance offence he was fined £200.

The court heard he had been banned from driving for a drunk-in-charge offence on November 13 last year.

On December 17 police recongised the driver of a car at Bridge Street as the defendant. They knew he was disqualified.

Police called with Bingham later in the day and he admitted the offences.

A defending barrister said the car belonged to Bingham’s girlfriend’s mother and he accepted he should not have been driving.

He added that the battery had been flat in the car and Bingham volunteered to sort it out. Given this happened only a short time after he was previously in court there was the potential for a custodial sentence, said the barrister.

He asked the judge to deal with the matter without a pre-sentence report which would rule out probation and community service and leave something hanging over the head of the defendant.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said driving while disqualified was a serious offence; it was totally inexcusable and there was no justification for Bingham to be driving.“Do it again and you will go to prison,” he warned.