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Man drove to work three days after being disqualified to fill in for Covid colleagues

A man who drove three days after being disqualified has been given a suspended prison sentence and banned from driving for 15 months.

Vytautas Norkus (43), of Ashgrove Park, Lisburn, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified on Corcrain Drive, Portadown, on October 31 last year.

He also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance on the same date.

Craigavon Magistrates’ Court was told on Friday that Norkus had been stopped by police and checks revealed he had been disqualified on October 28 for two months.

A defence solicitor said that on the day in question, his client had taken a call from work asking if he could go in as there was a staff shortage due to Covid-19.

He was unable to get a taxi and decided to take a chance and drive in as he was afraid of losing his employment.

The solicitor said his client had lived in Northern Ireland for the past 12 years and had never been out of employment.

He currently works in Portadown and earns £33,000 per annum.

He added that the defendant hasn’t driven since and either took a taxi or travelled with co-workers.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer said the defendant had been disqualified on October 28 for being in charge of a vehicle with alcohol in his breath.

He said he also had a previous conviction for driving with excess alcohol for which he was disqualified for a year.

“Three of the most serious driving offences you can commit are driving with alcohol in your system, driving while disqualified and not having insurance,” he said.

“You have now committed all three of those offences.”

He imposed a four-month prison term for driving while disqualified and three months on the no insurance charge, to run concurrently, suspended for 18 months.

He also disqualified him from driving for 15 months.

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