Ban driver drove home
MOMENTS after being banned from driving by magistrates, a man was seen driving away from the court car park.
Police were waiting for Andrew Dowling when he arrived at his Nanstallon home – but as he drove up he gestured at them to move out of the way so that he could park.
"Not surprisingly, they didn't move", said Tony Randall, for the prosecution.
Instead 42-year-old Dowling was arrested and brought before Bodmin Magistrates' Court in custody the following day, where he pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance.
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Telling him he had shown a "blatant disregard for court procedure and had put the public at risk by being uninsured", the magistrates jailed him for 16 weeks and banned him from driving for a further year.
Mr Randall said Dowling, of Boscarne View, had been disqualified from driving for 14 days by magistrates on February 1 after pleading guilty to driving a Fiat on Penwinnick Road, St Austell, otherwise than in accordance with a licence on October 10 last year.
Immediately afterwards a member of court staff witnessed him getting into a Dodge vehicle in the court car park and driving off.
"It was as blatant a breach of a court order as you will have before you," Mr Randall told the magistrates.
The vehicle's details were circulated and two officers were at Dowling's home in a marked police car when he arrived back.
He told them he knew he'd been banned but wanted to park outside his house.
The vehicle was seized and impounded because there was no insurance in place due to Dowling's disqualified status.
The court was told that Dowling had 48 previous convictions, including one for disqualified driving.
Emma Doble, for the defence, said that Dowling had driven "in a moment of stupidity" because he was desperate to get home to his wife, who was 25 weeks pregnant with twins.
There were six children aged from 1 to 11 in the household and the family relied on the vehicle, especially as one of the children suffered from autism and needed to attend hospital appointments.
The journey had been just a mile and a half long and there had been no accident or injury caused.