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Burnley van driver stopped by police did not know he had already been banned

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A van driver who was caught behind the wheel while banned claimed he didn’t know he had been ordered off the road.

Burnley magistrates heard how Alexandru Streinu (29) had been disqualified in his absence and said he didn’t know he was doing anything wrong. He was not insured because of the order.

Father-of-two Streinu, who is from Romania, has now been given another ban under the totting up procedure and this time was in court to hear it imposed.

Miss Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the defendant was stopped driving a Ford Transit in Longridge, and checks revealed he was disqualified. She continued: “In interview, he stated he did not know he had been disqualified and I understand he had been disqualified in his absence. “

The prosecutor said the defendant was banned for six months on April 26 and was disqualified again in July under the totting up procedure.

Mr John Rusius, defending Streinu, told the hearing: "Quite simply, he did not know he had been disqualified."

The solicitor continued: "This was a hire vehicle and it would have been insured for the defendant to drive and the only reason he is guilty of it is because of his disqualification, which he didn’t know about. It’s not that he was driving the vehicle deliberately without insurance. He was not aware he was doing anything wrong.”

The defendant, of Haven Street, Burnley, admitted driving whilst disqualified and no insurance on June 27th and a separate allegation of no insurance.

He was fined £230, given 12 penalty points and was banned for a year under the totting up procedure. Streinu must also pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.