A judge said it was possible “language difficulties” may have played a part in a Romanian man claiming he was unaware he was a banned driver.
David Lacatus (20) was caught driving at the Lisnevenagh Road near Ballymena last December despite previously being disqualified from driving in his absence at an earlier court.
Police stopped a vehicle last November after spotting a defective brake light and near side tail light and after caution, the defendant – of Moorgate Street in Belfast – asked officers why he was under arrest.
It emerged the defendant was driving whilst banned; was uninsured and the vehicle had no MOT.
A defence lawyer told Ballymena Magistrates Court, where the defendant pleaded guilty to four charges, that Lacatus had been in Romania when he was previously banned from driving at another court in Northern Ireland before the November offences were detected.
Fining the defendant £250 and banning him from driving for three months, at Ballymena Court on April 18, District Judge Nigel Broderick clarified that the defendant understood the sentence.
The judge added he was prepared to accept that the defendant being on the road in November “may have been down to language difficulties”.