Cancer patient escapes jail over driving offences

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A MAN who breached two driving bans has walked free after a court heard he faced a battle with cancer.

Barry Anderson admitted driving while disqualified and using a vehicle without insurance when he appeared before city magistrates.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said 39-year-old Anderson had been spotted driving a Peugeot GTI in Murton Lane, Easington Lane, in February, despite serving a one-year ban imposed in October and a five-year disqualification which was not due to expire until 2016.

He had a long record of breaching driving bans: “His record is littered with offences of driving while disqualified,” said Mr Anderson. “It is right to say most of his offending seems to be this type of behaviour.”

David Smith, for Anderson, said the car had been left with him to valet as a favour and he had only moved it a few yards.

“It has been about 45 seconds to travel 18 feet, to go round the house,” he said.

“There was no injury caused, there was no damage caused, there were no accidents that occurred.”

Anderson was due to undergo surgery within days and was facing months of gruelling chemotherapy, Mr Smith told the court.

Discovering that he was ill had had a sobering effect: “He tells me he is awaiting treatment for cancer and this is having an impact on his mental well-being,” said Mr Smith. “A recent diagnosis for testicular cancer has stopped him in his tracks. It has caused him to reevaluate the way he lives and the way he behaves.”

Jailing Anderson would have a serious impact on his treatment, said Mr Smith, and he urged the court to impose a suspended sentence.

Anderson, of High Street, Easington Lane, was well-known to police in the area and there was no chance he would be able to drive without being seen.

“He knows, if he drives, that a suspended sentence would only be delaying the inevitable,” said Mr Smith.

Anderson was jailed for eight weeks, suspended for a year and made subject to a year’s supervision order and a 12-month driving ban.