October 20 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, April 10, 2014
A leading road safety charity has called for tougher sentences after serial offender John Moir was spared jail for flouting a driving ban for the 44th time.
Moir, of Fore Street, Ipswich, was given a suspended prison sentence by the town’s magistrates despite being jailed for 10 months last year for his 43rd driving while disqualified offence and two counts of theft.
He was also imprisoned in 2011 and 2012 after driving while disqualified.
Moir now has more than 220 previous offences to his name. In 2010 he almost killed pedestrian Simon Jacobs in a hit and run in Ipswich, after running a red light while banned from the road.
When Moir appeared before magistrates last year the court heard he described his disregard for bans to police as “a game of cat and mouse”. He had also told officers “Going to prison won’t stop me.”
Following that case Mr Jacobs said: “He has left me with a life sentence, I will never get over my injuries.
“It is only a matter of time before he kills someone.”
At Moir’s latest sentencing the 47-year-old was given 16 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months after admitting driving while disqualified, having no insurance and careless driving.
Afterwards Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for road safety charity Brake, said: “Drivers who flout bans are making a mockery of the justice system.
“We cannot keep on allowing drivers, who have repeatedly proven they have no respect for the law or for the lives of others, back onto the road.
“We need the government to get tough with serial offenders by giving judges the power to hand out higher sentences, up to two years, for those who are repeatedly caught driving while disqualified.”
Magistrates had been told plain clothes police in an unmarked car followed Moir’s Vauxhall Astra on March 14.
As he drove along Linstead Road near Cratfield, close to Halesworth, Moir repeatedly locked the vehicle’s brakes and almost lost control on bends.
At one stage the Vauxhall was travelling at 50mph in a 30mph zone.
When eventually stopped Moir moved into the passenger seat where his partner had been sitting, but was still arrested because of his previous crimes.
Claire Hullock, mitigating, said Moir’s then partner had been driving but became upset when she got lost. Moir decided she was in no condition to drive and took over.
Miss Hullock said her client was remorseful and realised what he did was unacceptable.
Chairman of the bench Leisha Clein said magistrates had taken Moir’s guilty pleas and several references into account.
In addition to the suspended sentence Moir was banned from driving until October 2016, ordered to complete 240 hours’ unpaid work and must pay £80 to the victims’ fund
Ms Clein added: “If you drive while disqualified for whatever reason there is a good chance you will be going into custody.”