Banned mechanic drove boss’s car

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A WIGAN car mechanic who was banned from driving has been given a community order and disqualified again just weeks before his previous ban ended.

Ryan Whistlecroft, of Moore Street, Wigan pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified, using a vehicle without insurance and possession of cannabis when he appeared before magistrates in the town.

The court heard that early on February 15, Whistlecroft was caught by police on Warrington Road, Leigh, driving a Volkswagen Polo.

Mr Mike Arden, prosecuting, said the car, which belonged to his boss, was given to Whistlecroft for him to carry out repairs in preparation for its MOT. When police stopped Whistlecroft, he got out of the car and fled.

Mr Ardern said: “Once the defendant was found, police searched him and found a small amount of cannabis in his wallet.

“They asked why he had been driving the car so early in the morning and he told them he wanted to beat the morning rush hour traffic.

“He also told them he ran off because he thought he would be over the limit after having a few pints at a nearby pub.”

The 21-year-old is already disqualified from driving but the ban was due to end in three weeks. Ms Karen Schofield, defending, said Whistlecroft thought a notice telling him he could re-apply for his licence meant he could drive again.

She said: “He told the police an inaccurate report of events that night but doesn’t know why, he just panicked.

“When he and his girlfriend left the pub, he decided rather than leave the car in the car park that he would park it on the road about 30 to 40 yards away.

“The defendant thought as it was a company car, he would be okay to drive the short distance that he did.

“Although he was found to be in possession of cannabis, the defendent had forgotten that it was there.”

Whistlecroft was given a 12-month community order of 200 hours unpaid work, he was ordered to forfeit the cannabis, pay £85 costs and has been disqualified for driving for a further 12 months.