Sunderland cannabis user given road ban after being caught drug driving in newly-bought van

A Sunderland cannabis user is starting a three-year roads’ ban after being caught drug-driving twice in seven years.

By Gareth Crickmer
Friday, 29th July 2022, 4:55 am

William Templeton, 40, was subjected to a random police check after he drove a newly bought van into a city service station.

It revealed Templeton, of Trinity Street, Southwick, was uninsured – and officers then smelled cannabis on him.

A positive swipe at a BP garage on Wessington Way led to his arrest on suspicion of drug-driving on Saturday, December 12, 2020.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

And his guilt was proved by a later blood sample at Southwick police station, which showed an illegal level of cannabis derivative THC.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: “At 1.15pm, officers on patrol parked on the forecourt of the filling station.

“Mr Templeton drove onto the forecourt in a Fiat Skudo van, and checks showed there was no insurance.

“They spoke to him and could smell cannabis coming from him. They asked when he had last had some and he said earlier that afternoon.

“As a result, a drugs’ swipe was carried out and it was positive. He was arrested and taken to Southwick. He was interviewed and admitted the offences.”

Templeton, who pleaded guilty to drug-driving, gave a reading for THC of greater than 3.8mcg per litre of blood. The legal limit is 2mcg.

He was previously banned from driving and fined for the same offence in December 2015.

It made him subject to a minimum three-year driving ban under the two same offences in 10-year rule.

The court heard the offence of driving without insurance was not laid.

Annalisa Moscardini, defending, said the case against Templeton had been delayed in reaching court due a mix-up with his address and him contracting Covid.

She added: “He had bought the van a couple of hours before which was why there was no insurance.

“He was taking it home and was filling it up with petrol. There is no evidence of bad driving, the police were just doing checks

“He is someone who uses cannabis regularly and has previous for the same driving offence.”

Magistrates disqualified Templeton for three years and fined him £140, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.