Disabled woman keeps licence after saying ban would take away her independence

A DISABLED woman successfully pleaded with magistrates to keep her driving licence, saying a ban would remove her independence.

Margaret Barnett (56), of Stubbs Close, Dyke, told Spalding magistrates: “To remove my independence, you would be removing my life.”

She said she needs her car because her village has no public transport, she drives to hospital appointments and collects her grandchildren to stay overnight.

Barnett, who walks with a stick, pleaded guilty to driving without insurance but told magistrates her direct debit payment had failed and the notice had gone to her former address.

She already had six points on her licence and the offence carries a further six – taking her to the trigger point where a six-month ban is imposed unless exceptional hardship is proved.

Magistrates decided not to ban her. They imposed a £100 fine and ordered her to pay £43 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Jill Derby, prosecuting, said Barnett was stopped on Winsover Road, Spalding, on January 18 this year. The officer allowed her to renew her insurance at the roadside because he could see she was disabled and did not want to remove her car from her.