Banned driver had taken cannabis ahead of police pursuit – Gazette Live

A weed-smoking motorist who once injured himself and a pillion passenger on a motorbike has been caught illegally behind the wheel.

Luke Joyce was just 19 when was banned from driving in September 2014 for riding a motorcycle dangerously causing serious injury to his passenger in 2013.

The disqualification elapsed but he did not take a mandatory new driving test, which meant he was still banned from the roads.

At 21, he ran two red lights after a PC spotted him driving a Ford Fusion with three passengers just before 6pm on November 12 last year.

He was pursued by a police car to the intersection of the A689 and A19, said prosecutor Neil Jones.

Joyce travelled on to the A689 westbound dual carriageway but did not go over the 50mph limit before he slowed down and stopped.

Then the front occupants of the Fusion got into the back, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Officers smelled cannabis, Joyce handed over a small bag of the Class B drug and he was found to be over the legal limit for its chemical components.

He confessed he had taken cannabis about three hours before he drove the car.

Joyce, now 22, whose address was given as c/o Gloucester Place, Peterlee, but formerly of Laburnum Terrace, Shotton Colliery, admitted careless driving, drug driving, driving while disqualified and cannabis possession.

He had a previous conviction for possessing cannabis.

Sentencing, Judge Deborah Sherwin said: “I take into account the injuries Mr Joyce himself suffered in the matter he was convicted of in 2014, and the ongoing consequences.

“He needs to know when he wants to drive again to do it properly. He needs a licence before embarking on a journey with his friends.”

She gave him a one-year community order with 15 days’ rehabilitation activity and

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