A man who was detected driving whilst disqualified on two occasions after the ban was handed down in his absence has appeared in court.
The 25-year-old’s solicitor explained that this had been a “turbulent” and “unsettled time” for the defendant.
Kyle David Weir, of Monlough Road in Saintfield, pleaded guilty to two counts of driving whilst disqualified, two counts of using a vehicle without insurance and no vehicle test certificate at Banbridge Magistrates’ Court – sitting at Newry- on Thursday.
Prosecution outlined that the first detection occurred on September 9, when the defendant was stopped driving a Volkswagen Golf on the Ballykeel Road in Moneyreagh.
Having been found to have been disqualified on July 18 for a period of 18 months Weir was arrested.
When interviewed, he claimed to have not been at the court and not to have known he was disqualified.
The defendant was detected again on November 13 at 8.30pm, on Main Street, Loughbrickland.
Weir was driving a Vauxhall Astra which was flagged as being uninsured and having no MOT.
When interviewed, the defendant claimed to have a licence and insurance through Hughes in Bangor.
After being asked if he was disqualified, Weir replied: “Apparently I am.”
Defence solicitor Ruari Gillan stated: “His first disqualification was in 2014, he was subsequently stopped in 2018 for which he received the 18 month ban.
“He had been living in Banbridge, this was a turbulent time, an unsettled time and he did not appear in court in July.”
He continued: “He was not notified of the disqualification in his absence. This was entirely his own fault. He is now working full time at a farm and despite that has attended court.
“He appears with his partner, with whom he has been for a few months. She seems to have had a stabilising impact on him.”
Mr Gillen added: “He knows he will receive a longer disqualification. He was paying for insurance but it was void due to him not having a licence and the vehicle he was stopped in on the second occasion had been booked for an MOT.
“He would require his licence for his employment but he has now taken responsibility for his actions.”
Deputy District Judge John Rea stated: “Mr Weir, you were detected twice driving whilst disqualified, the first time on September 9 you claimed to have been unaware.
“However, that excuse carried less weight the second time you were detected. This is the third time you have been before the court for no insurance that normally carries a period of imprisonment.”
Weir was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.
In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay a fine of £600, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within six weeks.
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