Licence mix-up lands driver in court

A DISQUALIFIED driver has walked free from an Ipswich court despite being stopped by police twice in less than a month.Non-licence holder Stefano Sesto said a mix up at the DVLA led him and the police to believe his ban was just for three months rather than six.

A DISQUALIFIED driver has walked free from an Ipswich court despite being stopped by police twice in less than a month.

Non-licence holder Stefano Sesto said a mix up at the DVLA led him and the police to believe his ban was just for three months rather than six.

The court heard that Sesto was banned from driving for six months on December 12 last year but the DVLA returned his licence in the middle of March.

The 43-year-old, of Halton Crescent, Ipswich, insisted that he telephoned the DVLA and was told the ban was only for three months.

Sesto said when he was disqualified in December for clocking up penalty points, his father had recently died and his life was in “turmoil”.

Emma Lister, prosecuting at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, said police stopped Sesto's Vauxhall Nova in Cobham Road, on March 21 during a routine check.

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She said officers checked with the DVLA computer and found Sesto to have a licence with six points on it.

She added: “He was allowed to continue his journey.”

On April 14 Sesto was stopped again in Lindburgh Road and was arrested for not holding a licence on either occasion.

Sesto, who has 10 previous convictions for 18 dissimilar offences pleaded guilty to two charges of driving while disqualified and two charges of having no insurance.

Dino Barricella mitigating said: “In the middle of March his driving licence was returned to him which was of a surprise to him.

“He didn't apply for it, it was sent to him by the DVLA, he rang them up and they said he was not disqualified but did have points, so he was about to get the vehicle insured and taxed.”

Magistrates accepted Sesto's account of what had happened and he was conditionally discharged for six months.

He was told he still could not drive again until June 12.

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