‘Let me off ban so I can drive my dog around’ — uninsured driver’s plea rejected by court

By David Parker | 02/07/2019

‘Let me off ban so I can drive my dog around’ — uninsured driver’s plea rejected by court

AN UNINSURED motorist who tried to escape a ban because he wanted to drive his dog around had his request turned down by magistrates.

Rowan Maginn (49), of Oates Close, Rotherham, was disqualified for six months after twice being found driving without a full licence or insurance.

He was caught driving a Vauxhall Vectra on Meadowhall Way, Sheffield, in April last year and was later seen behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf on Henley Way, Rotherham, last July. 

Maginn admitted driving without insurance or a licence on both occasions at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.

His solicitor, Ms Hester Russell, asked the court to spare him a driving ban by arguing exceptional hardship.

She said Maginn obtained a provisional licence “some years ago” — adding: “He really hopes that one day he will become a qualified driver.

“He leads a largely solitary lifestyle.”

Ms Russell said Maginn liked to go out and walk his dog.

“He struggles with public transport and struggles with public situations,” said Ms Russell.

“He tells me the hope of being able to drive from A to B with his pet is a very significant hope and one that he holds dear.”

Giving evidence, Maginn told the court it would not take him long to get a full licence and he thought he deserved a chance.

Under cross-examination from prosecutor Mr Mark Hughes, Maginn said he was aware he needed insurance to drive and he had made enquiries with insurance companies.

“They have quoted me a ridiculous amount,” he said. “I have no-one to sit next to me [when I drive].”

During the same hearing, Maginn admitted producing cannabis in April last year.

Mr Hughes said: “The police attended at Mr Maginn’s house for other matters and found what was described as a small cannabis set-up.

“He told police he was of the opinion that that he was allowed to grow cannabis if it was for his own use.”

Ms Russell said Maginn had grown three plants and had been using it to manage his arthritis.

Magistrates rejected Maginn’s grounds for exceptional hardship and banned him from driving for six months.

He was fined £60 for driving without insurance. There was no separate penalty for the drugs offence.

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