Boss comes to court to confirm defendant’s job remains open

A YOUNG motoring offender has been spared an immediate prison sentence after his boss confirmed his job remains open to him, despite a driving ban.

Connor Richard Sanderson faced a potential first prison sentence after admitting two cases of drug driving and one of dangerous driving.

Durham Crown Court heard that Sanderson tested positive for the presence of cocaine and ecstasy when stopped by police while at the wheel of a Vauxhall Corsa, on November 8, last year.

Prior to being summonsed to court for that offence, he came to police attention while, again, driving the Corsa, at 4.35am on March 21, this year.

Paul Cross, prosecuting, said Sanderson failed to stop for police and a high-speed chase followed in the Stanley and Consett areas during which he overtook, posing a risk to other road users, and, on reaching a halt, tried to flee police on foot.

He was caught and again provided a positive test for the presence of cocaine in his system.

The 21-year-old defendant, of Hollyhill Gardens West, Stanley, admitted dangerous and drug driving, driving with no insurance, plus possession of cocaine.

Helen Towers, for Sanderson, presented two character references to the court on his behalf, one of which conceded he had, “got himself in a bit of bother”.

Judge Ray Singh told her: “It’s actually quite a lot of bother that he’s got himself into.”

One testimonial was from his employer at a scaffolding company he has worked for, on and off, over the last 14 months.

He came to court to say there is sufficient work for Sanderson in the business’s yard, supervised by his father, also an employee, without the need to drive.

Judge Singh told Sanderson he had got himself into, “a real pickle”, driving while under the influence of recreational drugs.

But he said the fact that he remains in full-time work is a “persuasive factor”, enabling him to suspend the 12-month prison sentence, for two years.

He imposed a two-year driving ban, made Sanderson subject to a five-month 8pm to 6am home curfew, and ordered him to pay £300 costs.

The Northern Echo | Durham