A motorist who "takes the mickey" out of the law has been caught flouting a driving ban - for the eighth time.
Because I'm not so sure it's the recidivist, actually, but the justice system itself.
In July 2019 this newspaper reported how Darren Nicholas Derwin, of Horne Road, grinned as he learned he would not be jailed for his latest offence at the time.
He was already subject to a suspended jail sentence for theft when police caught him driving while disqualified... for the seventh time.
The police must have wondered why on earth they bothered when they rang him through the PNC, mustn't they?
His defence counsel had suggested his client had become mixed up about the date his latest ban ended.
The judge retorted: "You’re taking the mickey – he has ignored driving bans all his life.”
Turning to Mr Derwin, he added: “I’m going to impose a prison sentence. But I’m going to suspend it” – whereupon Mr Derwin turned to a companion in the public gallery and grinned.
And why not? There are, after all, absolutely no consequences. Which encourages other scofflaws:
As Mr Derwin left the dock there was a commotion as his companion remonstrated with the judge for imposing a fresh driving ban, telling him: “This is a joke. I’m trying to get him back on the straight and narrow and now you’ve banned him again.”
Clearly, he has even fewer brain cells than the judge he's complaining about!
In addition to the ban and suspended sentence, Mr Derwin was ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £115.
But on Monday, March 29, Mr Derwin was back in the dock at Reading Magistrates' Court. There, he admitted his eighth offence of driving while disqualified.
Yet again, the court ordered pre-sentence reports to be prepared on an 'all options' basis, including custody. Mr Derwin was meanwhile released on unconditional bail.
More 'pre-sentence reports'..? What do they think might have changed since the last one? As far as I can see, the answer's 'nothing'.H/T: I R Jackson via email