Sunderland used car dealer banned from roads caught test driving vehicle he hoped to buy

A Sunderland used car dealer banned from the roads was caught test driving a motor he hoped to buy, a court heard.

Saturday, 8th January 2022, 6:00 am

Sam Raine, 23, was at the wheel of a Ford Focus stopped by police in Rosslyn Mews, Millfield, on Wednesday, July 7.

Raine, of Lime Street, also Millfield, had the potential seller in the passenger seat, prosecutor Niamh Reading said.

She told magistrates in South Tyneside carrying a passenger while disqualified and without insurance, was an aggravating factor.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Magistrates agreed – and handed Raine, who now works as a mechanic, a fresh nine-month roads’ disqualification.

Ms Reading said: “At approximately 11.30pm an officer was on patrol when he stopped the defendant.

“The defendant immediately confessed to being a disqualified driver.

“He was disqualified on September 1, 2020, for 12 months due to a drug-driving conviction. This incident was 10 months into the disqualification period.

“There was a passenger in the car at the time.”

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

Jason Smith, defending, said: “He is a young man with one previous conviction and that’s the drug-drive.

“As a consequence of that, he lost his job. He was in the process of getting back into work and had quite a bit of debt.

“He was buying and selling cars, flipping them on the same day and making some money.

“On this day, the car came to him, and he got into it to make sure it drove properly.

“The person in the car was the owner who had allowed him to drive it for about one-and-a-half miles.

“Sam is now working as a mechanic, and he has to test cars that he repairs.

“I would ask in these circumstances that you go outside of your guidelines, I would ask you to use your discretion and not ban him.

“He has committed two acts of stupidity, both of which have ended up here.”

Magistrates told Raine he should never have been driving – and imposed the new disqualification.

They also ordered him to complete 180 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order, and pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.