Banned motorist was stopped by police driving on the M1 motorway

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A banned driver who was caught behind the wheel of a car on the M1 motorway in Derbyshire has been spared from being sent to prison.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on January 30 how Darryl Lewis Curtis, 36, was seen driving a Citroen C3 on a stretch of the M1 at Tibshelf and was stopped by police.

Prosecuting solicitor Neil Hollett said: “It was November 28, at about 11.20am, when officers stopped him driving on the M1 in a Citroen C3 which was shown as disqualified until October 29, this year.”

Curtis, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified.

The probation service stated that Curtis has been doing very well on a current community order.

Defence solicitor David Gittins said: “In terms of the offending it was a stop on the M1 and there was no suggestion of poor driving, speeding or weaving between traffic.

“It seems to be a random stop and he was fully compliant.”

Mr Gittins conceded that Curtis has extensive previous convictions but he is not someone who regularly commits traffic offences.

He added that following the breakdown of a lengthy relationship in the Nottingham area he became homeless and eventually moved back to his mother’s address.

However, most of Curtis’s support was in the Nottingham area which is where he was heading when he had been driving on the M1.

Curtis, of Walling Road, Wincobank, Sheffield, has also been diagnosed with anxiety and a personality disorder, according to Mr Gittins, but he is now being supported in Sheffield and his mental health is stable.

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Mr Gittins added that jobless Curtis used to be a painter and decorator but he is hoping to get back to work and sending him into custody would be a backwards step after he has made good progress.

Magistrates sentenced Curtis to a 12 month community order with 160 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Curtis was further banned from driving for 22 months.