Washington man pleads guilty to driving while banned

An absent-minded Washington security guard inadvertently treated himself to a near year-long driving ban reduction, a court heard David Tindale, 36, got his numbers in a twist and thought his 26-month drink-drive disqualification was only for 16 months. The truth dawned on him when he was stopped by police while driving a Ford Focus on the A184 at Teams, Gateshead, on Monday, May 17.

Tindale, of Brackenway, Albany, made what his solicitor described as “an utter error of judgement”. Go here for the latest reports and live updates from North East courts At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, the club doors and building sites worker pleaded guilty to driving while banned.

District Judge Natalie Wortley ordered him off the roads for a further three months. Prosecutor Niamh Reading said: “A police officer had cause to stop his vehicle. “Inquiries revealed that he was disqualified at that time.”

Tindale was banned in November 2019 for driving with excess alcohol, it was said. Jason Smith, defending, said: “He completely forgot the length of his disqualification. “He thought it was for 16 months rather than 26 months.

He went and borrowed a friend’s car and got it insured. “He just made an utter error of judgement in every respect. He was surprised when officers said that he was banned

“On this day, he was driving home from work to go to his daughter’s birthday party. “The officer was so impressed by his friendliness, he gave him a lift home. “There was no bad driving, it was an error with his timings.”

Judge Wortley told him: “You were some considerable way into that ban when you were stopped. “There is no suggestion that there was anything wrong with the standard of driving. “I agree that this falls into the lowest category, but it was your responsibility to check that your disqualification had ended, it had not.”

By the time of sentencing, Tindale had 11 weeks of his ban left to run, the court heard.

Judge Wortley handed him an extra three-month disqualification, meaning he can be back on the roads in 24 weeks.

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