Father avoids prison after twice driving while disqualified

PUBLISHED: 17:36 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:36 09 October 2019

David Sheldrake appeared via video link at Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

David Sheldrake appeared via video link at Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

A father-of-two who was caught driving while disqualified for a second time has avoided a prison sentence.

David Sheldrake, 31, of Burlington Road, Ipswich, appeared before magistrates on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance on October 8.

Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard how police received a call around 10.30am on Tuesday that a white Ford Transit Connect van had been involved in a hit-and-run collision in Tassel Road in Bury St Edmunds.

The call was found to be false but roads policing officers began following the van, which was being driven by Sheldrake, on the A14 eastbound at Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds.

When the Ford Transit pulled onto the A1120 at Stowupland and stopped at a garage, police then blocked the vehicle in.

The court heard how Sheldrake sat in his vehicle with his head in his hands.

He then became agitated and began shouting and screaming before eventually calming down.

Magistrates heard his current six-month driving ban was imposed after he was caught driving while disqualified following an incident on April 23 this year.

Jeremy Kendall, defending, said Sheldrake had made the journey in his father's van to take his daughter to her mother in Bury St Edmunds as the couple are no longer together.

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Mr Kendall said: "He has two children, a boy aged nine and a girl aged three.

He admits using his father's van to get his daughter back to her mother.

"It was when he on the return journey that he was stopped by police.

"The call made was malicious, there had been no collision whatsoever.

"It was a foolish act but it is mitigated by the fact he was taking his daughter back."

Sheldrake was sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to undertake 20 Rehabilitation Activity (RA) days.

He was disqualified from driving for 12 months from October 9.

Sheldrake will also have to retake his driving test before he is able to get back behind the wheel following his ban.

He was also ordered to pay courts costs of £60 as well as a victim surcharge of £122.

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