Banned motorist sleeping in a car in a Greggs car park caught driving to nearby garage for bottle of water

A banned motorist was caught at the wheel of a cannabis-smoking friend’s car by armed police in Sunderland after driving just 100m.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 4:55 am

Aaron Warrener, 24, and his pal were homeless and sleeping in the Audi when they decided to pop for water at a garage at The Broadway, High Barnes.

But their 1.15am jaunt on Sunday, January 31, ended with Warrener’s arrest when officers in a marked BMW X5 pulled them over in Chester Road.

Warrener, of Hendon Close, Hendon, Sunderland, was 20 days short of finishing a one-year ban for aggravated vehicle taking, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.

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The jobless care worker has now been hit with a fresh three-month driving ban and must carry out 165 hours of unpaid work.

Prosecutor Leanne Duffy said: “Officers were on duty and travelling along Springwell Road, when they observed an Audi A3 travelling in the opposite direction.

“The car contained two young male occupants, and the police stopped the vehicle. Checks showed the defendant was disqualified.”

The court was told Warrener was banned for 12 months on February 19 last year for taking a vehicle without consent.

Greg Flaxen, defending, said: “He was, unfortunately, disqualified from driving.

“He was still serving that disqualification for 20 more days until it was completed.

“He was homeless at the time. He and a friend were sleeping in the Greggs car park on The Broadway, and they were driving to a petrol station, it was a matter of metres.

“His friend had smoked cannabis to help him sleep, Mr Warrener had not and there were two police officers who were happy this was the case.

“He drove the vehicle, and that was a poor decision, but there was no evidence of poor driving

“It’s just two young men in a car at night and that’s the reason they have been pulled. It was a short distance, they just wanted some water.”

Warrener pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Magistrates revoked his existing community order for his driving ban offence and imposed a new 18-month order.

It has a requirement of 15 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service, and he must pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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