Man who claimed he broke monitoring tag ‘in the bath’ receives suspended jail sentence

A MAN with more than 160 convictions who admitted a charge of causing criminal damage to an electronic monitoring tag despite claiming it was accidentally broken after catching on a bath tap has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Tony Simpson (32), with an address listed as Shane Court, Broughshane, broke the tag worth £102 on November 19 last year.

A previous sitting of Ballymena Magistrates Court heard that after caution, Simpson had told police: “It got caught on the tap in the bath”.

Meanwhile, Simpson committed motoring offences in Ballymena town centre in October last year.

He was an ‘unaccompanied’ learner driver with no L plates displayed and was uninsured.

A prosecutor said police spotted Simpson and were aware the defendant only had a provisional driving licence but no L plates were displayed.

A male in the vehicle was a disqualified driver meaning he was unable to act as the supervising driver.

A defence solicitor said the defendant was “troubled greatly” with mental health issues and was accompanied to court by his mother.

The lawyer said Simpson was told by the other man in the car he did have a licence.

The lawyer said the defendant had only gone a short distance.

She said the car had Motability insurance.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said Simpson had a “horrendous” record.

The judge said a pre-sentence report said Simpson would struggle with any Community-based court outcome and he handed down a four months jail term, suspended for a year.

The defendant was also banned from driving for six months and fined £150.

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