Banned driver caught on Burnley road tested positive for cannabis

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A banned driver spotted travelling "erratically" in Burnley smelled of cannabis when he was stopped, a court heard.

Burnley Magistrates' Court was told househusband Mantautas Simkus (33) had been spotted at the wheel of a BMW by police. They followed it and he appeared to be trying to lose them to potentially make off.

Simkus, who is from Lithuania, had been banned under the totting up procedure on June 21st, just three weeks before, but insisted to police he wasn't disqualified.

Mrs Tracy Yates (prosecuting) said the defendant was seen driving at 10-45pm, on Manchester Road, Burnley. He tested positive for cannabis and a blood sample showed 3.3 microgrammes of delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol per litre in his system. The legal limit is two.

When he was interviewed, he said he was not aware he was banned. He stated he had points for speeding and using a mobile phone, but thought he had been on the course to get rid of them.

Mr Keith Rennison (defending) said: "He doesn't accept he made off from the police. He says he pulled over as soon as he became aware they wanted him to. He's from the Liverpool area and had come to collect a friend. He doesn't know the area and that's perhaps why his driving looked erratic."

The defendant, of New Road, Liverpool, admitted driving whilst disqualified, driving with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit and on insurance, on July 12.

He was banned for 15 months, fined £120 and must pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Sentencing the defendant, District Judge John Maxwell said: "Had he been driving knowing he was disqualified, that would certainly have upped the ante."