Sunderland man caught drink driving while banned and owing the courts over £10k

A Sunderland motorist caught drink driving while banned and owing the courts over £10,000 has been handed a suspended prison term.

Dean Gilmore, 37, of Riddings Road, Hylton Red House, was warned he would go to jail if convicted of a further motoring offence in the next two years.

He blew almost twice the limit when pulled over by police as he drove a works’ van on the A1290 slip road near Nissan’s car plant on Wednesday, December 28.

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When arrested, he was a month away from completing a two-year disqualification, magistrates in South Tyneside heard.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

His ban followed convictions for drink driving in 2016 and driving while banned in 2018 and last year.

Gilmore pleaded guilty to drink driving and driving while disqualified and was jailed for 14 weeks, suspended for 24 months.

The court was told Gilmore, who is in employment, had racked up £10,200 of debts from past fines and costs which were being paid at just £16 a month.

Prosecutor April Hall said: “He was banned from driving for 24 months in January 2021.

“Officers were on duty on the Felling Bypass when they saw a Fiat van which they followed and caused to stop.

“He was under the influence of alcohol. His eyes were glazed, and his speech was slurred. They discovered that he was a disqualified driver.

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“He was taken to Southwick police station where he was breathalysed. The vehicle was obtained during the period of his disqualification.

“This is his second conviction for drink driving in 10 years and carries a disqualification of between 36 and 42 months.”

Gilmore gave a breath test reading of 64mcg of alcohol, against a legal limit of 35mcg.

Charlton Carr, defending, said: “It was absolute madness from this guy. He was out at Christmas.

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“He foolishly agreed to drive the van because the person who was due to drive was more worse the wear than he was.

“I don’t accept the analysis of the van being obtained during his disqualification, it’s a works’ van.

“I’m not going to keep you long. This man has an horrendous record for driving matters.

“He is back with his wife. If you jail him, she can’t pay the rent. It seems wrong that she should also suffer.”

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Magistrates imposed the suspended sentence on the driving while banned conviction, which they described as the more serious offence.

Gilmore was also handed a 46-month driving ban and must complete 35 rehabilitation days’ work with the Probation Service.

He was given a concurrent 12-month driving disqualification for the drink drive offence, and must pay a £154 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

Magistrates said they would add those sums to his outstanding debt, which Gilmore agreed to start paying at £100 a month.