Sunderland rogue driver freed by judge after an hour behind bars

A man jailed by a court for motoring crimes committed while serving a suspended sentence was freed on appeal after only an hour behind bars.

Friday, 24th July 2020, 9:05 am

Gavin Corkin, 37, of Partick Road, Pennywell, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to drug-driving, driving while banned and possessing Class A cocaine, all on Monday, November 4, in Front Road, Pallion, Sunderland.

Magistrates activated an eight-week suspended sentence, imposed in June last year for drink-driving, and told him would serve one month of it.

But as he was being led to the cells, his solicitor, Angus Westgarth, gave notice he intended to immediately appeal.

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The case was dealt with in South Shields at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Self-employed Corkin’s case was later brought before District Judge Paul Currer at the same court.

He was freed and his sentence will now be considered by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court at a date to be fixed.

The magistrates' court heard Corkin was arrested after police, positioned behind his black VW Lupo by chance, suspected he may have been under the influence.

Prosecutor Ansab Shan said: “They carried out a roadside swipe test and it came back positive for cocaine.

“White powder was also found on his person and that’s come back as cocaine.”

Mr Shan said Corkin was banned from driving for 14 months in June last year, with the suspended sentence also imposed.

Mr Westgarth told the court Corkin was a reformed man and had taken great strides since his most recent arrest to turn his life around after suffering from his father’s death and the breakdown of his marriage.

He added: “Since that time, life has improved immensely. His 16-year-old daughter is back living with him and he’s on the straight and narrow.

“Since June, he’s started work as a self-employed loft insulter. He’s completely turned his life around.

“It would be such a shame to send someone away at this stage, to send them away in the current climate.

“He would lose his 16-year-old daughter and he also now has to look after his mother.”

As well as activating the suspended sentence, magistrates also banned him from driving for three years, ordered him to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay a £90 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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