Disqualified driver on suspended sentence spared jail after breaching driving ban TWICE

Marc Carlson, dob 25/06/1986, of Westgate Avenue, Sunderland.

Marc Carlson, dob 25/06/1986, of Westgate Avenue, Sunderland.

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Road safety campaigners have hit out after a disqualified driver was spared jail despite getting behind the wheel just six days after he was given a suspended prison sentence.

Marc Carlson told magistrates he did not realise his driving ban was immediate after he drove his partner’s Nissan Qashqai on two occasions after the first court case.

General view of the ASDA supermarket at Leechmere.

General view of the ASDA supermarket at Leechmere.

The 30-year-old was reported driving from the Asda store in Leechmere by a member of staff on both June 20 and 30, the court was told.

Less than a week earlier Carlson, was handed a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He had been found guilty after a trial of three counts of receiving stolen goods – a £5,000 Vauxhall Corsa and two registration plates – and also admitted driving without a licence or insurance.

He was banned from driving for six months and the bench also revoked a community order, imposed last November for stealing a camera to the value of £350 from Silksworth Community Centre.

He hadn’t realised the severity of the punishment for disqualified driving, if he became aware of that he wouldn’t have driven

Anna Haq, defending

Carlson, of Westgate Avenue, Silksworth, pleaded guilty to two counts of driving whilst disqualified and two of driving without third-party insurance, putting him in breach of his suspended sentence.

He has 18 convictions for 28 offences, the court was told. Magiistrates decided not to activate the suspended sentence, extending its operational period instead, by 12 months.

Carlson was also given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 24 months.

He was given a further driving ban of 18 months and was told to pay £85 costs and £115 surcharge.

Zari’aat Masood, spokesperson for road safety charity Brake, said: “It is appalling that offenders are being allowed to continue driving after being banned and receiving repeated prison sentences.

“This irresponsible individual has shown disregard for the law and the lives of other road users, time after time. We need the Government to get tough with serial offenders by giving judges the power to hand out higher sentences.”