Ex-addict was unaware of ban

PUBLISHED: 11:31 09 March 2006 | UPDATED: 13:17 04 May 2010

A REFORMED drug addict trying to set up his own business didn t realise he was banned from driving when police stopped him at Witchford, a court heard. Robert Smith, of Ryemanmoore Drove, Sutton, who has a poor driving record , was not at a previous cour

A REFORMED drug addict trying to set up his own business didn't realise he was banned from driving when police stopped him at Witchford, a court heard.

Robert Smith, of Ryemanmoore Drove, Sutton, who has a "poor driving record", was not at a previous court hearing when a two-year ban was imposed, Ely Magistrates were told.

In the past he had no regard for the law because of his heroin addiction but was now free of the drug, the court heard on Tuesday.

Prosecuting Sally Rose said that police stopped Smith while he was travelling in his Renault van on the A142 near Lancaster Way on Friday and realised he was disqualified from driving.

Smith, 34, admitted driving while disqualified, no insurance and no test certificate.

Mitigating, James Yardy, said Smith accepted that he has a poor driving record in relation to offences of this nature.

But now he was settled and trying to set up his own landscape gardening business.

"He has previously suffered from skin cancer which led to a period of depression and dabbling in heroin," he said. "That led to a heroin addiction from the age of 27. But since the beginning of this year he has been free of the drug."

Ely Magistrates decided to adjourn the case until March 23 for a pre-sentence report and told Smith they were ruling out a custodial sentence in favour of a community-based penalty.

Smith was granted bail on condition that he report daily to Ely Police Station.

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