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Sole carer escapes prison

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: September 07, 2012

A MAN who was been disqualified from driving seven times has escaped a custodial sentence after he posed as his brother when stopped by police.

Described as having an appalling driving record by Recorder Nicolas Gerasimidis, 58-year-old Paul Shelford was handed an 11-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, when he appeared before Truro Crown Court this week.

The court was told last Friday how when Shelford was stopped by police officers on the A30 at 3.15am on June 11 last year he gave them his brother's details.

His dishonesty did not come to light, prosecutor Elaine Hobson told Truro Crown Court, until his brother asked for a new driving licence because he had moved house – and found on it six penalty points he knew nothing about.

Shelford, of Carworgie Way, St Columb Road, admitted perjury, driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Miss Hobson revealed that Shelford had been banned from driving in December, 1999 and had never passed an extended test, as directed, to obtain a new licence. He had been disqualified seven times since 1982.

Barry Hilliard, for the defence, said Shelford accepted he could not complain if given a custodial sentence.

But he was the sole carer for his 14-year-old daughter and he had recently set up a successful holiday homes cleaning company whose employees would lose their jobs if he was not there.

Recorder Gerasimidis told Shelford that he had an appalling record for driving while disqualified over a number of years.

He said: "It has been submitted in eloquent and persuasive terms the effect custody would have on your daughter and employees and by the skin of your teeth I am just persuaded there is a more positive way forward."

Shelford was given an 11-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, a six-month driving ban and a three-month curfew, electronically tagged, from 8pm to 6am each day.

He must also attend the Thinking Skills probation programme and pay £800 towards the prosecution costs.

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