Banned Barrowford care worker could have been jailed

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

A Barrowford care home worker got behind the wheel while banned to go on a home visit because she had only just got the job, a court heard.

Lisa Marie Yates (30) was caught after she was spotted by a police officer who knew her, at 10pm on a petrol station forecourt. He followed her and stopped her and Yates confirmed she knew she shouldn’t be driving.

Burnley magistrates were told how Yates, who has two convictions for drink driving, had started her part-time employment just weeks before and none of her colleagues had been available to carry out the visit in Earby.

The defendant, who is being treated for post traumatic stress disorder after losing a son, kept her freedom after the incident on April 1st. Yates, of East Bank, admitted driving whilst disqualified and having no insurance in Barrowford Road, Colne. She was given a 12 month community order, with 200 hours unpaid work and received eight points on her licence. The defendant must pay a £60 victim surcharge. Bench chairman Graham Jagger told her: “We are looking at a very serious matter here. You could have gone to custody. You must realise that.”

The hearing was told Yates was ordered off the road for three years for excess alcohol last August.

Nick Cassidy, in mitigation, said Yates had been having a “terrible time.” Unfortunately, she had lost a child and she had started to drink, but thought she had put her offending behaviour behind her. Since her last court appearance she hardly ever drank.

The solicitor said the defendant, who had a 12-year-old child, recently got work at the care home and sometimes attended home visits with colleagues. She had received an out-of-hours call about a visit in Earby, for which nobody else was available. Mr Cassidy continued: “Because it was a new job, she made a very foolish mistake. The vehicle is insured for her ex-partner and is parked on private land near her house. She took the car keys and went on the home visit.”

He told the justices:”She is thoroughly ashamed to appear before you. She is certainly very fearful of the consequences.”