Court refuses to punish Louth motorist who '˜did not know' he was banned from driving

Magistrates in Boston have taken the unusual step of refusing to punish a Louth man who admitted in court to driving while disqualified, because he had no knowledge at the time he drove that he had been banned.

Court news

Prosecuting, Jim Clare said that on July 6, police were tipped off that Raquib Miah, 41, of High Holme Road - who was disqualified from driving under the totting up procedure - was driving his Vauxhall Astra van.

When they stopped him on the A16 at Wyberton, he said he was ‘unaware’ he was disqualified.

He told the officers he knew he had six points on his licence for an insurance offence but he was not aware of any further proceedings which might have added his points up to 12 and a mandatory six month ban under the totting-up procedure.

However, he told officers he had separated from his wife and had been staying at a number of addresses with relatives and friends and so might not have received any correspondence.

Mitigating, Michael Alexander said Miah had driven to the family home on July 6 after his son asked him to come as there were problems and he was completely unaware he had been disqualified or of any proceedings pending against him.

He said he had now found out he had been given a further six points in his absence for speeding and failing to answer a letter to reveal the name of the driver at the time and that had made his total points up to 12 and the mandatory six month ban.

“Letters would have gone to his previous address and his wife has not passed on these letters,” said Mr Alexander.

Mr Alexander said the original court had since revisited the conviction and substituted three penalty points instead of six and so the driving ban had been rescinded but that at the time he was stopped he was disqualified, despite the ban being overturned later.

“It was a technical offence only,” said Mr Alexander, asking the magistrates to impose a minimum ban only.

The magistrates said that as the disqualification had been overturned, Miah did not need to be punished and ordered an absolute discharge, although he did have to pay £85 court costs.

They said they were obliged to disqualify him from driving and ordered that should be for one day only.