Burnley epileptic with "unhealthy relationship" with cannabis who was refused a license by the DVLA caught drug-driving

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court
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An epileptic caught over the drug-drive limit shouldn't have been on the road anyway, as he had been refused a driving licence by the DVLA, a court heard.

David Hartley, said by his solicitor to have an "unhealthy relationship" with cannabis, was stopped by police at 10.40pm after his vehicle showed up on the PNC as not being insured. He smelled of the drug.

Mrs Tracy Yates, prosecuting, told Burnley magistrates the 29-year-old defendant was asked if he had recently smoked cannabis and he replied: "A couple of hours ago." A drugs swipe proved positive. A test then showed seven microgrammes of a cannabis derivative per litre of blood. The legal limit is two.

The defendant, at the time on a suspended sentence for having a bladed article - of which he was in breach - had more than 40 offences on his record.

Mr Dylan Bradshaw, defending, told the hearing Hartley said he had been test driving the vehicle over a short distance to see if it was roadworthy. He was considering buying it up, renovating it and selling it on for profit.

The solicitor continued: "He suffers from severe epilepsy and has quite violent seizures. The DVLA refused to grant a provisional licence and he cannot reapply for a licence until he has gone 12 months without a seizure. His last seizure was in June last year."

The defendant, of Dall Street in Burnley, admitted driving with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit - delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol - on Todmorden Road in Burnley, no licence, and no insurance last October 6. He was fined a total of £240, was banned from driving for 12 months, and was told to pay a £30 victim surcharge.