Banned after a late-night drive to supermarket

Aldi in Bexhill.
Aldi in Bexhill.

A pensioner banned from driving has been fined £160 and been hit with a fresh ban after police caught him driving to Aldi for some late night shopping.

Anthony Hubbard, 70, of Sutherland Avenue, Bexhill, borrowed a Fiat Punto from his girlfriend’s daughter despite having been previously banned from driving after an offence in 2009. Hubbard drove from Essex to Bexhill on 31 October 2014 before being caught in London Road on his way to the supermarket at around 9.40pm.

Hubbard pleaded guilty to charges of driving while disqualified and driving without insurance at a hearing in Hastings Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (January 14).

Prosecutor Jeremy King said the car was stopped by police as part of a drink driving operation.

“He passed the drink driving test as he had no alcohol in his system,” said Mr King, “but once his details were put through the system he came up as a disqualified driver.”

Hubbard chose to have no defence counsel, and told the court he believed his first driving ban had expired.

“I have changed addresses several times recently and haven’t been in contact with the licencing people so I thought I had served my ban and was free to drive,” he said.

Mr Hubbard claimed he had been told the car was insured for anyone to drive.

“I was racing to Aldi before they closed and the next thing I know I have got blue flashing lights in my window.”

Mr Hubbard also claimed he was not aware that he had to re-take his driving test after his ban had expired.

Chair of the magistrates bench David Wallis said: “It would have been explained to you that you were disqualified until you had re-taken your test.

“You did not comply with the condition that you had to retake your test. As a bench we have to take driving while disqualified seriously.”

The bench’s fine of £160 included a £20 victim surcharge, and £40 for costs. Hubbard was banned for driving for twelve months, after which time he must retake his test.