A DISQUALIFIED driver caught while subject to two live suspended prison sentences for identical offending, has managed to avoid custody, with a defence lawyer telling Enniskillen Magistrates Court his client’s parents “would be distressed if he is jailed.”
Keith Henry John Crawford (43) from Kinmeen Road, Derrylin was detected driving a Volkswagen Golf on July 26 near his home.
He admitted being disqualified and having no insurance at the scene. A defending lawyer accepted Crawford is in breach of a suspended sentence handed down at Enniskillen Magistrates Court in March 2017 and a second at Dungannon Crown Court in September 2017, for offences “identical in nature.”
He added “My client knows he is in grave difficulties and is in breach of a court order which is direct disobedience. His driving can only be described as an act of sheer and utter stupidity of the highest order.” Crawford, he explained, had only driven about 100 yards when caught in a car he bought to sell on, which has since been done at a loss.
Described as a farmer who employs one person, Crawford had no criminal convictions until 2009, but since then has amassed 41 convictions for fraud and motoring matters. This was around the time he was declared bankrupt due to major financial issues, but it is accepted he owns a significant amount of land.
Urging District Judge Michael Ranahan not to activate the suspended sentences, the defence said, “He has never been in prison. His parents would be distressed of he is jailed.”
The judge agreed the matter was, “More than stupid, as it put liberty at risk.”
However, he decided against jail instead opting for a lengthy driving ban of four years. In addition, Crawford was placed under a two year probations order and must complete 80 hours community service.
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