Suspended jail term for banned driver

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A 38-year-old Larne man was given a suspended prison sentence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court for driving while he was disqualified.

Richard David McCrea, of Kent Avenue, admitted the offence which happened on May 4 last year.

He was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years, and also disqualified from driving for six months.

For not having insurance on the same date he was given a concurrent four-month custodial term, also suspended for two years.

The court was told that a person reported to Lurgan police that McCrea had been seen driving at Lyndale Manor in Portadown.

Police checks showed McCrea had been disqualified from driving for six months at Newry Magistrates Court.

When interviewed by police, he admitted both offences.

Mr Joe McDonald, representing the defendant, said his client had a considerable record and had a long history of breaching court orders.

He added that last year McCrea had appeared in court for a serious matter and had received a three-year probation order.

He had a total of 46 convictions, the court heard.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, told the defendant that his persistent breaching of court orders was very worrying.

She certified the offences were so serious there was only one penalty she could impose hoping this would bring home to him just how serious they were.

The judge also ordered forfeiture of the car the defendant had been driving but was informed it had been scrapped.