Banned mercy dash man escapes jail term

A 22-year-old Ipswich man escaped a prison sentence after a court heard how he drove while disqualified, on a mercy dash to his epileptic, pregnant sister.

A 22-year-old Ipswich man escaped a prison sentence after a court heard how he drove while disqualified, on a mercy dash to his epileptic, pregnant sister.

Matthew Brooks, of Donegal Road, was caught behind the wheel of his Ford Escort on February 10.

But his solicitor Howard Catherall told Ipswich magistrates that his mother had told him to visit his nine-months-pregnant sister Victoria, 19, who also suffers from epilepsy "as soon as possible" when she became concerned after she couldn't contact her by telephone.

The journey was a 15-minute walk or a five-minute drive, the court heard, and Brooks, who was given a one-year-ban in September last year for drink-driving, elected to drive.

After accepting his mitigating plea of exceptional circumstances, magistrates gave the trainee roofer 60 hours' community service and ordered him to pay £55 costs.

He was also awarded six penalty points on his licence.