Banned driver who was caught behind the wheel lived in house where cannabis was being grown, court told

A full-time dad, caught driving whilst banned, lived at a house where the electricity meter had been by-passed to grow cannabis, a court heard.

Friday, 16th November 2018, 2:59 pm
Updated Friday, 16th November 2018, 4:04 pm
A banned driver, who was caught behind the wheel, also lived in a house where the electricity meter had been by passed to grow cannabis, a court was told.

Paul Hartley (29) was supposed to have taken a re-test after being convicted of dangerous driving in 2014 and 2015, but hadn't.

Police saw him at the wheel and he was stopped and arrested.

A search of his home revealed the by -passed meter, which he said was due to another person who was making use of the property.

Hartley could have been facing jail, but kept his freedom after his case was heard at Burnley Magistrates' Court.

Mr Andrew Robinson, prosecuting, told the hearing: " It does seem it ( the meter) was being used to power equipment for growing cannabis."

Hartley had a record for disqualified driving.

Mr Daniel Frazer, defending, said Hartley thought the ban was over. The solicitor said: " He has no desire to take up driving again, as every time he gets into a car he seems to get himself intro trouble."

Mr Frazer told the court the defendant's sister had been struggling to get to various places and he foolishly got behind the wheel.

The solicitor said: "He knew the electricity meter had been by- passed, but wasn't necessarily proactive in stopping it."

A probation officer who interviewed the defendant said he used cannabis and it could be suggested it had some bearing on his thinking.

She added:"He fails to learn from mistakes and doesn't appreciate the consequences to himself and other people."

Hartley was said to be genuinely remorseful for the offences and was particularly concerned about the impact on his child, who he lived with.

Hartley, of Thorn Street, Burnley, admitted driving whilst disqualified on Rock Lane, in the town, having no insurance and abstracting electricity, on Friday, October 12th.

He received eight weeks in prison, suspended for a year, with a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement. The defendant was banned for 12 months and must still take a re-test. He must pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Sentencing, the Bench chairman told Hartley:"There was a passenger in the vehicle and it was not a short distance.

"You have also got a like offence."