Benefit claimant who owned five 4x4 vehicles is banned from driving

Benefit claimant who owned five 4x4 vehicles is banned from driving

A benefit claimant who owned an array of big-engined 4x4s has been banned from driving after being caught for a string of motoring offences.

Police stopped Peter Owens, 43 from Hartlepool five times in just seven months last year, each time behind the wheel of a different off-road vehicle.
The run of motoring offences started on May 31 last year, when he was caught driving an uninsured Jeep Cherokee in County Durham.

Then in July, he was nabbed in a Mitsubishi Shogun in Kilburn, North Yorkshire, when he sped off from police. The vehicle was later found to have no insurance.

The following month, Owens was caught in a Land Rover Discovery at The Lanyard on Hartlepool marina. That too lacked insurance.

Owens was then caught poaching with friends in another uninsured 4x4 vehicle, this time a Suzuki Vitara.

The string of wrongdoings came to an end when he was stopped in an uninsured Ford Maverick on Catacote Road, in Hartlepool.

Peter Owens pleaded guilty to five counts of having no insurance, one of failing to produce a licence, one of having no licence, failing to produce insurance documents, and to poaching.

He was disqualified from driving for three years and fined £550 at Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

But Owens isn't just infamous for his inability to insure a vehicle, according to the Daily Mail he has achieved national notoriety for boasting about his lifestyle on benefits. He previously bought a quad bike with cash left over from a £1,000 grant he had been given to redecorate his house.

Last September, Owens brought Seaton Carew to a standstill for nine hours when he drove up and down the beach in another of his 4x4s. He later apologised for the disruption blaming the episode on physical and mental health problems.

Passing sentence, chairman of the bench, Lynne Hodgson, told Owens: "We did consider the most serious sentencing we could impose, a curfew and we even considered custody. Unfortunately, our guidelines don't enable us to do that, the offences don't carry custodial or curfew sentences.

"If you are found driving when you are disqualified you could go to prison. You must not get behind the wheel of a car."
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