‘Yes, my client was an idiot, but he didn’t break his curfew’ – Sunderland driver’s DVD blunder

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A COURT agreed a man who breached a driving ban had not broken his bail conditions.

Banned driver David Hawkes was branded an “absolute idiot” by his solicitor, after he was brought before Sunderland magistrates earlier this month for flouting his disqualification to return rental DVDs. But another hearing at the city court heard he had not disobeyed a 6pm-6am electronic curfew.

Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, said information from G4S, which monitors the electronic tags, showed Hawkes had left his home in Sunderland for 10 minutes at 12.28am.

But Rolls-Royce worker Hawkes claimed there was a problem with the home monitoring unit, which would show him as being out of the house when he was in the bath or in bed.

The 31 year-old said: “I’m having to sleep on the couch, which is causing problems in my relationship. I have to take medication to help me sleep and I can’t take it in case the box goes off.”.

Hawkes, from Sunderland, pleaded guilty on to driving while disqualified on June 13 and August 11, two offences of using a vehicle without insurance and attempted possession of diazepam.

Magistrates did not find the breach proved and rebailed Hawkes on the same conditions - to live and sleep at his partner’s home in Park Hall Apartments, The Cloisters, Sunderland.