‘Blindingly stupid’ banned driver jailed

A PROLIFIC offender caught driving whilst disqualified just weeks after he was handed a suspended prison sentence has been jailed.

Gary Groves, 43, was stopped by police while driving a Ford Mondeo along the Manchester-bound carriageway of the East Lancs Road last Wednesday (May 4).

St Helens Magistrates’ Court heard how Groves, who has 48 similar offences on his record, was stopped at Haydock Island after officers noticed that a trailer he was pulling had no registration plate.

Prosecutor Michael Cain described how officers then quickly discovered that the defendant was disqualified from driving and that he was driving the vehicle without insurance.

Groves had also been handed a suspended prison sentence and ordered to complete unpaid work early last month.

Rob Haygarth, defending Groves, admitted that his client had “a horrendous record” but suggested a stringent curfew could be imposed following his early guilty plea instead of an immediate prison sentence.

He said the defendant had problems with his feet as a result of diabetes, which had caused him to only complete eight hours of unpaid work, but conceded that his client had been gardening for a neighbour on the day the incident occurred. Mr Haygarth also admitted that his client’s latest offence was “blindingly stupid”.

Magistrates told Groves: “You have a very unenviable record and because of that we are activating the suspended sentence.”

Groves, of Alvina Lane, Kirkby, was jailed for eight months.

n RESIDENTS across St Helens are being urged to get ‘caught on camera’. It’s part of a bid to drive home the message that speed kills.

St Helens Council will join forces with Merseyside Police on Thursday, May 19 for a special event in Church Square in the town centre.

May usually sees a rise in road collisions and injuries in St Helens. But last year there was a drop in casualties and police patrols will be out and about to ensure that the welcome reduction continues.

Enforcement and education in conjunction with engineering measures are a vital combination in the fight against tragedy on our roads and the May 19 event will raise awareness that appropriate speed for the driving conditions is equally as dangerous as breaking the speed limits imposed. Visitors to the event will be able to see how the safety camera works.