Driver jailed after 69th ban

Updated: 

London courts stock

A driver who has been banned from the roads a staggering 69 times has been jailed.

Jeremy Hector was spotted by an off-duty policeman driving a Ford Transit minibus, which had been stolen from a coach company's lockup in the Tiverton area of Devon.

The driving menace was handed a four-year driving ban only a month previously when he was arrested after stealing a car from a mother, while her toddler was strapped into a child seat in the back.

He returned to the scene of the crime, dumping the child out onto the pavement before making off with the car.

Exeter Magistrates' Court heard how the 47-year-old had 39 previous convictions for taking vehicles without consent, and a staggering 69 for driving while disqualified.

Sean Tipton, prosecuting, told the court: "His records speaks for itself. I have counted 39 convictions for taking without consent, it may be one or two either side," reported the Exeter Express and Echo.

"I have never seen a record with so many driving while disqualified," he added.

Hector's defence representation told the court that he had stolen the minibus out of desperation as he had nowhere to stay.

"He has hit a true low. He does not want to be homeless and reverted back to a pattern of offending," Vanessa Francis said.

Hector was jailed for a total of 16 weeks and handed a further four-year driving ban, after admitting driving while disqualified and without insurance, and for taking a vehicle without consent.

Concluding the trial, Magistrates branded the maximum sentence a farce, and expressed a desire to lock Hector up for a few years, rather than the few months he was given.