Jail for prolific offender with 'appalling' record of driving convictions

A farmer convicted of a driving offence for the tenth time has been jailed after being caught behind the wheel while banned in Blackpool.

Matthew Knights, who was described as having a prolific record of motoring offences, was stopped because the car he was driving was registered to a woman.

Blackpool Magistrates' Court was told the defendant had an "appalling" record of driving offences

Blackpool Magistrates' Court was told the defendant had an "appalling" record of driving offences

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Knights, 29, formerly of Briarwood Drive, Bispham, pleaded guilty to driving while banned without insurance.

He was sentenced to 14 weeks imprisonment, ordered to pay £85 costs with a £115 victim surcharge and had six penalty points put on his licence by Blackpool magistrates.

Presiding magistrate, Christopher Hurst, told him: "This was a blatant disregard of court orders and we have taken into account your previous record."

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said on February 17 police saw Knights, now living at Greenhalgh Farm, Quernmore, Lancaster, driving a Ford Fiesta on Bispham Road with a male passenger on board.

When signalled to pull over, Knights did not stop immediately and drove on for a short distance before pulling into a drive.

Checks showed he was banned and had a long record of driving while disqualified,

Last year he had been jailed and banned for 2 years. In 2017 he had been banned for five years for dangerous driving.

At the time of the offences he was on post prison sentence supervision by the probation service.

When interviewed, Knights said he thought his disqualification had ended.

Gerry Coyle, defending, told magistrates: "He has an appalling record. He has received custodial sentence after custodial sentence on nine previous occasions for similar offences. But this was a one-off."

Knights no longer drank or drug drove or involved himself in police chases, he said. He had moved from Bispham and worked on a relative's farm.

The day of the offences his ex-partner had called and said her car which was in Bispham village would not start. She needed it because she was a mobile carer for the elderly.

Knights and a mechanic friend went to the vehicle, got it going and then he was driving the car back to his ex's home.