Banned driver with 'appalling' record used false reg plates to deceive police - Leeds Crown Court

A banned motorist who used false number plates to keep on driving has been handed a lengthy jail term.

By Nick Frame
Monday, 16th May 2022, 4:45 am

Stuart Walton was pulled over by Wakefield police just a week after he was given a suspended sentence for dangerous driving, Leeds Crown Court heard.

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Prosecutor Jade Edwards said officers had followed Walton in his Vauxhall Combo van from J40 of the M1 to J37 at around midday on May 6 last year.

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Stuart Walton already had multiple offences for driving while banned and two for dangerous driving.

They discovered the van had been fitted with false registration plates, but 40-year-old Walton said a friend was the owner and that he had borrowed it to collect a dog from the vets.

He claimed he did not know he was banned, but admitted he only had a provisional licence and no insurance.

The court was told he was handed an 18-month jail term, suspended for 24 months, at Bradford Crown Court on April 29 last year.

Walton was put on trial at Leeds Crown Court for the latest offences but failed to turn up. He was found guilty of driving while banned, without insurance, and using false registration plates.

However, he did appear in court for sentencing this week.

He already had 45 convictions for 91 offences, including multiple offences for driving while banned and two for dangerous driving.

Mitigating, Paul Canfield said that Walton had since admitted his guilt for the latest offences.

He said: "I can't get away from his appalling driving record, and he tells me he was once a career criminal, but has stayed out of trouble for substantive offences for some time.

"There's a realistic prospect of rehabilitation if he is given the chance."

He said that Walton, of Percy Road, Keighley, was also a carer for his father.

But Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told Walton: "Every time you have come to court in the past, it would have dawned on you that other people suffer because of what you do.

"You should have thought about that. You did not, and that's your own fault.

"You committed these offences within a week of a suspended sentence. You knew what it meant.

"This was a particularly serious offence. You were trying to disguise who the driver was. It was to deceive others.

"The only way you can be punished is by way of a custodial sentence."

He jailed him for a total of 32 months.

This article was first published by the Wakefield Express.