POLICE asked a driver if he knew he was banned and he replied: “Yes, but I still need to drive to work to earn the money.”
Tomasz Lewandowski (32), of London Road, Spalding, was banned from driving by Spalding magistrates on June 7 – and police caught him behind the wheel on July 8 as he drove to his work at Kerry Foods in the town’s Fulney Lane.
On Thursday Lewandowski was given a ten-week prison sentence, suspended for one year, and a year-long community order with a requirement to do 180 hours unpaid work.
He was also banned from driving for a year from Thursday’s date.
Presiding magistrate Jane Tidswell said: “This order has been imposed because the bench consider you had a lack of regard for the order of the court.
“You were only recently disqualified and you completely ignored that order.
“Your concern seemed to be more for the lack of your job and we, as magistrates, say your concern should be more for the lack of your liberty.
“You live in Spalding and work in Spalding. You can walk or cycle to work.
“The bench are warning you that if you come back to court for a further offence you will go to prison.”
Lewandowski pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified.
He also admitted driving without insurance and received no separate penalty.
Magistrates ordered him to pay £85 costs.
Rebecca Ritson, prosecuting, said a police officer was on duty in Holbeach Road, Spalding, at 7.49pm on July 8 when an automatic number plate recognition system alerted him the registered keeper of an Audi A4 was a disqualified driver.
He followed the car to the Kerry Foods car park and spoke to Lewandowski there.
Solicitor Ann Whinyates, mitigating, said Lewandowski took the decision to drive.
She said: “It was a ridiculous decision in the circumstances. He accepts that it was a wrong decision.”
Miss Whinyates said Lewandowski was very concerned about losing his job.
Magistrates asked Miss Whinyates how far is it from Lewandowski’s home to work.
Through his Polish interpreter, Lewandowski said: “It takes about an hour to walk.”