A DAD was jailed after breaking his driving ban for the ninth time.
Former heroin addict John Duggan was caught by police while driving to top up his electricity key in a bid to save his dinner.
The dad-of-four had already breached driving bans eight times, Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard.
Duggan, from Sunderland, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and using a vehicle without insurance.
John McGlone, prosecuting, said Duggan’s Ford Focus had been stopped on Holborn Road, near his home address in Pennywell, on March 16.
The court heard that Duggan, who works at a factory in Seaham, had been banned from driving nine times since 2007 - the latest ban coming in February 2013.
Duggan, 42, of Palmstead Road, also received a 15-month suspended sentence in 2009.
Tony Southwick, defending, said Duggan had rushed out of the house after the electricity went off while his wife was preparing dinner for a grieving family friend.
He added: “What I can say, it is not an excuse, but he has put forward an explanation.
“A long-term family friend unfortunately died last year. The mam and dad of the deceased have struggled to come to terms with it.
“His mother has been going round to visit John and his wife and gets some comfort from talking with people who knew her son.”
The court heard that Duggan had 36 previous convictions and Mr Southwick admitted he had “effectively made a career out of crime”.
Chairman of the bench Peter Shreyhane said: “We note that this is nine offences of driving while disqualified and previous Probation Service intervention had not stopped your offending.” Duggan was sentenced to serve six months in prison and disqualified from driving for 18 months.