A SUSPENDED prison sentence and curfew have been imposed on a 58-year-old Newquay company boss after he admitted his seventh offence of disqualified driving.
Paul Shelford, of Trevelga Court, Lusty Glaze Road, Newquay, who runs a cleaning company, told magistrates he knew he had been stupid and apologised.
Shelford pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance when he appeared before Bodmin magistrates in custody on November 18 after being arrested the day before.
The court was told that in 1999, for dangerous driving, he had been banned from driving for two years and until he passed an extended test – but had never done so.
He had six previous convictions for disqualified driving – four since the extended test requirement.
Police on duty in Pentire Road on November 17 saw Shelford at the wheel of a Ford Transit. He stopped, got out and quickly walked off, said Jill Wilson, for the prosecution.
When spoke to by the officers Shelford initially said his first name was Robert but was unable to produce any identification although the officers could see he had a wallet in his pocket. The cards in the wallet were in the name Paul but Shelford said that was his brother. He eventually owned up.
Barry Hilliard, for the defence, urged the magistrates not to send Shelford to prison, saying that ten people relied on him for employment and he also had sole custody of his 13-year-old daughter.
He said that on the day of the offence one of Shelford's drivers hadn't turned up and he had moved a company van a short distance to a job.
Probation officer Tony Ciocci, giving a pre-sentence report, said that Shelford had taken a chance, knowing he was banned. He usually walked to his office and employed three designated drivers for other work. His business would "unfold" if he was sent into custody.
Mr Ciocci said that the public did not need to be protected from Shelford, who had successfully completed a previous community order and would be suitable for a curfew.
After considering Mr Ciocci's report, the magistrates sentenced Shelford to a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with a three-month curfew from 8pm to 6am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. His driving record was endorsed with eight penalty points and he was ordered to pay £85 costs.
Chairman of the bench Judith Squires told him: "If you've got any sense at all you will go away now and take an extended test."