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Banned motorist guilty of driving again

PUBLISHED: 19:17 03 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:36 03 March 2010

A BANNED driver who took to the Suffolk roads just a month after being disqualified has been sentenced to community service.

Ipswich labourer James Singleton was spotted driving a motorbike on the Whitton estate by police on August 5.

A BANNED driver who took to the Suffolk roads just a month after being disqualified has been sentenced to community service.

Ipswich labourer James Singleton was spotted driving a motorbike on the Whitton estate by police on August 5.

The court heard the 18-year-old panicked and drove away in the hope that officers had not seen him. However he was soon found with the vehicle near his Chesterfield Road home.

Magistrates in Ipswich heard that Singleton had been banned from driving for 12-months under the points totting up procedure on July 4.

Kate Stephenson, prosecuting, told the court Singleton had said he was just taking the bike for a test drive around the block. She added that he had admitted the offence in a police interview.

Roger Thomson, in mitigation, said that Singleton had intended to sell his motorbike after being banned from driving.

"He decided to sell his motorbike but it needed some doing up. He did it up to help him to sell it. Rather foolishly he decided to test-drive it around the block about 100 yards from his home," said Mr Thomson.

He added: "He realises the seriousness of what he has done and has now got rid of the motorbike."

At his appearance at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court on September 17 Singleton pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while disqualified. The case was adjourned for the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

At the hearing Singleton was sentenced to an 80-hours community punishment order.

Nick Ridley, chairman of the bench, said: "It was obviously a very stupid and foolish thing to do."

On top of the community punishment order Singleton was ordered to pay £130 for having no insurance and £60 court costs. There was no separate penalty imposed for having no MOT.

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