Lawyer urges judge not to ban courier driver (74) from roads for six months as he would be left 'isolated' if he lost job

Lawyer urges judge not to ban courier driver (74) from roads for six months as he would be left 'isolated' if he lost job

A DEFENCE lawyer urged a judge not to ban a 74-year-old for six months fearing he could lose a courier driver job he had taken up three years ago to "mingle" with people.

The solicitor was speaking at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday when it was heard William Ralph Oakes, of Wellington Park in Belfast, already had nine penalty points before being caught doing 49mph in a 40mph zone and 48mph in a 30mph zone.

Under the toting up process, when a motorist reaches 12 penalty points they can face a six months ban.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the latest two offences but a defence lawyer argued a six months road ban would lead to "exceptional hardship" and the loss of the job would impact on his "emotional well-being".

The solicitor said the defendant lives alone and one of the reasons for taking the job at the age of 71 was that it "got him out of the house and allows him to mingle with people".

The solicitor said rather than being "isolated" the defendant works between four and six days a week and some days he could drive up to 300 miles.

Banning the defendant from driving for a month along with £200 in fines, District Judge Nigel Broderick said: "He is doing important work in relation to the pandemic, however, there is nothing truly exceptional that I wouldn't have heard in any other case involving the loss of a licence but I will take it onboard and I will temper that.

"Rather than impose a disqualification of six months, which would flow from the toting up process, for both offences he will be disqualified for one month."