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Banned driver caught behind the wheel after anonymous tip-off to police

Defendant identified on CCTV footage at filling station

Craigavon Court

Police caught a Portadown man driving whilst disqualified after a tip-off by a member of the public.

The 42-year-old was spotted at a filling station by someone who knew he was banned from driving.

Marc Hewitt, of Lisnisky Walk, pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified and using a vehicle without insurance at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

It was heard the defendant was detected by police on January 24 after a tip-off by a member of the public who knew Hewitt to be a disqualified driver.

The witness told officers they had seen the defendant driving a Volkswagen Golf at the Seagoe filling station.

Police checked CCTV footage and saw the car as described with a male as the driver.

It was explained that Hewitt had been disqualified from driving on October 28 of 2016.

When shown the footage by police the defendant confirmed himself to be the driver on that date.

Defence solicitor Richard Monteith said Hewitt had three previous offences all of which occurred on the same occasion.

He stated the defendant had been caring for his children but had now received help in transport and childcare from his mother.

Mr Monteith commented that this was a “domestic situation”, adding that Hewitt was “not a reckless or prolific offender”.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer stated: “This is a very serious matter, you were disqualified until October of this year.”

He told the defendant: “The defiance of this order is seen as contempt of court.”

But Deputy District Judge Mateer accepted that Hewitt “was not a risk to the community in any way”.

The defendant was banned from driving for 12 months and sentenced to complete 125 hours of community service.

In addition, he was ordered to pay a fine of £400, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.

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