A MOTORIST who was twice caught driving while banned in the space of five weeks blamed the effects of a head injury.

But magistrates who listened to Lee Carr’s lawyer offer that explanation for his two illegal car journeys in Carlisle said that he had shown a 'flagrant disregard' for the court's orders and jailed him.

The 31-year-old, of Newfield Drive, Carlisle, admitted two counts of disqualified driving and two charges of being uninsured.

Prosecutor Pam Ward said the defendant’s first offence was committed on January 29. Police spotted him driving a Skoda car on Scotland Road, Carlisle.

When questioned by the police, he said he knew about his 37-month ban – imposed in November, 2019 - but thought it had expired.

“He said he thought he was eligible to drive again,” said Mrs Ward. “But the police officer pointed out that we were in 2022, not 2023. The ban still had [almost] a further year to go.

“His disqualification will be in place until November 25, 2022.” Carr’s second offence was on March 7, when police found him sitting in a BMW Series 5 car just after midnight outside a medical centre at Hilltop Heights, off London Road.

The defendant initially told police a friend had driven him there. But CCTV disproved this, showing him driving into the car park before going into the nearby building.

Chris Toms, defending, said the defendant suffered from confusion a result of a head injury. In March, he had a genuine medical appointment.

Mr Toms said: “His friend drove him to near the centre – certainly close enough for him to then drive up the access road.”

The police were alerted because Carr’s head injury mimicked those of somebody who had been drinking, said the lawyer. Referring to the drive along the access road to Hilltop Heights, Mr Toms said Carr genuinely thought it was a private road and therefore legal for him to drive.

Of the offence in January, the lawyer said it was the result of a genuine mistake and 'muddled thinking' linked to his head injury.

The lawyer said there was 'great concern' about whether Carr could cope in a custodial setting, adding: “It may be some time before he can drive again on medical grounds."

Magistrates concluded that Carr had shown 'flagrant disregard' for the court disqualificiation order and they jailed him for eight weeks. They also imposed a fresh 637 day driving ban.