Serial banned driver jailed
A SERIAL offender caught driving while disqualified for the TENTH time is today beginning a 20-week spell in prison.Magistrates sitting in Ipswich told Nicholas Nicholls, 30, he had a "blatant disregard for the law" before sending him to jail.
A SERIAL offender caught driving while disqualified for the TENTH time is today beginning a 20-week spell in prison.
Magistrates sitting in Ipswich told Nicholas Nicholls, 30, he had a "blatant disregard for the law" before sending him to jail.
Nicholls, of Upper Cavendish Street, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance during the hearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court.
The freight company employee also admitted breaching a bail condition by failing to appear in court for an earlier hearing.
The court heard that in his latest offence, a police officer saw Nicholls driving a Ford Mondeo in Upper Cavendish Street on November 19 last year despite being banned from getting behind the wheel.
Prosecutor David Hutson said the disqualification for a previous driving offence should have taken the father-of-two off the road from June last year until December 17 this year but he ignored the ban.
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Mitigating, his lawyer Neil Saunders told the court it was the first time Nicholls had breached the ban.
"He tells me he just drove once to work and therein is the tragedy," Mr Saunders said.
"His boss didn't pick him up for work that day unfortunately and he took the risk and drove to work, which is a great shame."
When he was caught by police Nicholls was on his way home from his work in Felixstowe.
Mr Saunders said the job with the freight company was the first steady salary job Nicholls had had for some time and he risked losing it if he was sent to jail.
And he told the magistrates that his client had failed to appear in court for the earlier hearing because of the death of his cousin in late November, which meant "he just couldn't face court".
But he added: "He has given himself up and he just wants this over."
Chairman of the magistrates, Graham Barnett, said the offences were serious.
"Looking at the aggravating factors there are nine previous driving whilst disqualified (offences), also each time is driving with no insurance," he said.
"It's just a blatant disregard for the law."
Nicholls was sentenced to 16 weeks for the offence of driving while disqualified.
He was disqualified from driving for a further three years, taking him off the road until 2008.
For the offence of driving without insurance his licence was endorsed.
For failing to answer bail, magistrates imposed a one-week sentence, to be served concurrently.
Nicholls was also sentenced to another 28 days in prison, to be served consecutively, for £1,186 in unpaid fines that he owed to the courts for a string of previous offences.