Nidderdale man breaks driving ban

A FORMER chartered civil engineer’s attempts to save on removal fees when forced to quit his Nidderdale home for a seaside caravan rebounded on him.

Harrogate magistrates heard last week how Stephen Hill had climbed behind the wheel of one of his partner’s two vehicles and defied a driving ban so the pair could each take a load of belongings from Park Avenue, Pateley Bridge, to their new home at Far Grange Caravan Park, Hornsea Road, Skipsea.

Prosecutor Kathryn Reeve said a Hyundai Accent driven by 58-year-old Hill had been pulled over by police for a document check on the A168 at Boroughbridge, on the morning of August 19.

Miss Reeve said Hill had initially given officers a false name, address and date of birth but had confessed what he had done after checks had been made.

And it was then discovered that he had been banned from driving for 18 months on May 31 after being convicted of drink-driving.

When Hill pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance his solicitor Andrew Tinning said a man who had been earning ‘‘decent money’’ was now claiming benefits.

His troubles had begun with his wife’s prolonged battle with cancer which had ended in her death a year or so ago.

It hit him extremely hard and he became depressed and turned to drink.

As a result of his driving ban he lost his job and had been moving home when police stopped him.

Mr Tinning said Hill and a new partner, also on benefits, could not afford the rent on their Pateley Bridge home and decided to move.

But because they could not afford a removal van each drove one of her two vehicles.

Hill had decided to ‘‘take the risk’’ to help out in the move and both vehicles had been packed to make the trip. ‘‘Because of his problems he acted in a rather reckless way,’’ said Mr Tinning.

Court chairman Eric Fell told Hill that giving false details to the police could have brought a further charge.

And he had been disqualified for less than three months when he defied the ban after ‘‘two big hits’’ in his life.

Sentence on Hill was deferred until December to allow the court to better assess his suitablity for a community order with unpaid work.