Last chance to avoid jail

PUBLISHED: 14:03 30 November 2006 | UPDATED: 13:39 04 May 2010

A LITTLEPORT man who narrowly avoided prison has been warned that he had better bring a toothbrush if he appears before the court again. David Leach, of Fishers Bank, Littleport, had been banned from driving when he got behind the wheel of his car in D

A LITTLEPORT man who narrowly avoided prison has been warned that he "had better bring a toothbrush" if he appears before the court again.

David Leach, of Fishers Bank,

Littleport, had been banned from driving when he got behind the wheel of his car in December last year.

But the 39-year-old was found out when he hit a neighbour's car and passed on his name, address

and phone number to its owners so he could reimburse them for the

damage caused.

The owners of the car then read in a local newspaper that Leach had been disqualified and he was reported to the police.

Leach was convicted at a trial in August and appeared before Ely magistrates on Tuesday for sentencing.

Mitigating, Michael Judkins said: "He did present himself to the owner of the car and he still intends to pay for the damage," adding that Leach has managed to stay out of trouble for extended periods.

Leach avoided prison, despite this being the second time he has appeared before the court for driving while disqualified. He was punished earlier this year for a second offence in January 2006, but magistrates had to treat the December 2005 incident as a first offence.

Handing down a sentence of 250 hours of unpaid work in the community, presiding magistrate Hamish Ross said: "The bench is looking at this as a first offence - if it was different, then you would certainly be going into custody; come back here for this offence and, mark my words, you will be going into custody.

Mr Ross said: "You have got 250 hours to keep your nose clean - if it doesn't happen, then you had better bring your toothbrush next time."

Leach was also ordered to pay £650 costs, £270 in compensation to the driver and he was banned from driving for a further six months.

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