Banned driver caught – taking new car for a spin

Shaun Cole at Kirklees Magistrates' Court

A former car salesman was caught flouting his driving ban – as he tested out a new vehicle before buying it.

Shaun Cole lost his business and trader’s licence after receiving a 30 month ban in 2017 for failing to provide a breath specimen.

But he was caught behind the wheel again on June 11 and said he was trying out the car with the intention of buying it to sell it on.

The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified and using a vehicle without insurance.

He caught the attention of police as he drove the Vauxhall Astra shortly before 4.30pm in Birstall.

Lisa Evans, prosecuting, told Kirklees magistrates that the officers were travelling in the opposite direction but turned around and followed the vehicle onto Mill Street where it pulled over.

Cole explained that he was buying the car and wanted to see how it drove before purchasing it to sell on.

Mill Street in Birstall where Cole was stopped

He was a car salesman prior to his 2017 ban. Then his business ceased and he lost his trader’s licence because of the ban, causing him to suffer financial loss.

Ian Whiteley, mitigating, said: “Things went wrong for Mr Cole when the disqualification was imposed.

“He was at a party and police came and asked him to give a sample of breath.

“He refused because he said he’d not been driving.

“What subsequently happened was he had his own business buying and selling cars, employing four people.

“He couldn’t test drive the vehicles, sales went down and he got into financial difficulties.

“He’d been buying the odd car here and there to try and make some money because the Universal Credit he’s living off is insufficient for him to maintain his lifestyle.”

Mr Whiteley said that the person Cole was buying the car off was in the vehicle with him and he was test driving it around a short circuit when police pulled him over.

Magistrates sentenced him to a community order with 20 rehabilitation activity days.

They banned Cole, of School Crescent in Dewsbury Moor, from driving for a further 17 months.

He must pay £85 court costs and £85 victim surcharge.