Banned Sunderland driver behind bars after being caught without licence for 18th time

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A DODGY driver is behind bars after being caught behind the wheel without a licence for the 18th time.

Brian Dodds was first banned from the roads in 2008 for dangerous driving, but has since clocked up scores of motoring offences.

The 44-year-old’s latest ban, which was imposed in September, had expired, but he should have sat an extended test to regain his licence.

However, police saw him driving a minibus on Chester Road last Wednesday and pulled him over.

At Sunderland Magistrates’ Court the following day, deaf Dodds pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified.

The court heard Dodds, of Lansome Street, Ryhope, had not been speeding at the time.

District Judge Rodger Elsey activated the eight-week suspended sentence that he was given on September 25 for the same offence and ordered Dodds serve another eight weeks, to run consecutively.

Speaking after the hearing, Brake, a charity which campaigns for safer roads, said people who frequently flouted laws should be penalised accordingly.

Laura Woods, spokeswoman for the organisation, said: “Repeatedly breaching a dangerous driving ban shows a frightening disregard for the safety of other road users.

“Brake calls for stronger penalties for people who drive when disqualified, to provide a real deterrent and underline the severity of these crimes.”

The Echo reported in August how Dodds’ car was stopped in Sunderland’s Tunstall Road on August 6. Dodds, who had two men in the car with him, sped off, but the officers caught up with him about 10 minutes later.

James Palmer, defending, said Dodds moved to Sunderland from Cumbria, as there was a better deaf community in Wearside.