Driver given a heavy fine but a shorter ban so he can keep his job

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Instead of a longer ban on the tot up points system a 38-year-old man was given a heavy fine and shorter ban last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court because of the hardship it would cause to his family.

James Gibbs, Roes Hill, Laurencetown, was fined £800 and banned from driving for four weeks for not having insurance on December 3 last year.

He was also ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy.

Fines of £100 were imposed for not having a vehicle test certificate and not having a vehicle excise licence.

The court heard the offences came to light when he was stopped at Newry Street, Banbridge, and he told police he was just collecting some items. A solicitor representing Gibbs said that at Laganside court his client had received six points for a no insurance offence when his policy had lapsed for a couple of days.

He explained that the defendant’s job required significant driving.

He added that if he was disqualified he would lose his job and which would have a grave impact on his family.

The solicitor added that he also took a Down’s Syndrome relative two or three days a week as respite for the parents. He took to activities at the local bowling club and the Special Olympics.

He asked the court to consider a greater financial penalty and to exercise discretion and not disqualify the defendant.