Sunderland banned driver caught behind the wheel while taking his pregnant partner to hospital

A Sunderland railway worker was caught driving while banned just weeks from the end of a five year disqualification.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 4:55 am

Terry Connelly, 41, was nearing the end of a five-year ban for dangerous driving when stopped while at the wheel by police in Thornhill Terrace, Ashbrooke.

Connelly, of Church Street North, Roker, was on his way to hospital with his heavily pregnant then partner on Sunday, October 4.

She didn’t want to drive due to wet weather and he jumped into the driver’s seat of her Vauxhall Astra, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.

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Terry Connelly, 41, was stopped while on his way to hospital with his heavily pregnant then partner on Sunday, October 4.

He has now had his ban, imposed in 2016 and due to end this month, extended by six months as punishment for his latest motoring misdemeanour.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “He doesn’t have a good record for driving offences.

“There are seven or eight driving while disqualified offences, but the last was in 2013.

“There’s other driving-related offences including dangerous driving for which he was disqualified for five years in June 2016.

“The five years is up in about a few weeks, and he must sit an extended test.”

He added: “He was stopped by the police. Another person was insured to use the vehicle and that was who was in the car with him.

“It’s her car, but the car was being driven by Mr Connolly. He’s disqualified and accepts that he was driving.”

Alaister Naismith, defending, said: “The disqualification in 2016 bans him until an extended test is passed.

“The disqualification is in place for another week and that will be five years since the date of conviction.

“He has a provisional licence now and has made arrangements to take the theory test.

“He was stopped around the corner from where he lived. There was nothing bad about his driving.

“It was his then partner’s car. She was heavily pregnant and didn’t want to drive in the rain.

“She needed some papers from her address to take to the hospital. He knows it was the wrong decision.”

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

He was also fined £120 and must pay £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

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