Couldn’t read English and didn’t know of ban

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Court policy changes were partly to blame for an East European man driving while disqualified, a lawyer claimed.

Valerij Paramonov (38), of Fishpond Lane, Holbeach, was banned for a year and fined £600 for careless driving by a court at Grantham on April 8.

Paramonov wasn’t in court at the time – didn’t get the court’s letter telling him about the ban translated – and was stopped at the wheel in Spalding a month later, Boston magistrates heard.

Solicitor Ruth Harrop, said: “The situation arises to some extent out of policy changes. In the past court policy was that a person should be present in court when they are disqualified so they know they are disqualified.”

Miss Harrop said Paramonov accepted his part in the offence because he didn’t get the court’s letter detailing the sentenced translated.

Paramonov received a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to do 180 hours’ unpaid work for driving while disqualified on May 7.

He was fined £100 and had his licence endorsed for driving without insurance on that day.

Magistrates imposed a further 18-month driving ban and ordered Paramonov to pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

Paramonov pleaded guilty to both charges.

Presiding magistrate Chrissie Chapman said: “We were concerned to hear that this was a recently imposed ban, which meant you were uninsured.”

Marie Stace, prosecuting, said police stopped Paramonov, who was driving a Vauxhall Vectra, on Holbeach Road, Spalding, at 5.10pm.

She said he had his wife and child in the car and was on his way home after getting fuel. He told police he’d had a letter from the court “but couldn’t read the English”.