A man was stopped by police driving his van home from court despite being handed a year-long ban this morning, a court heard.
Polish Arkadiusz Wanczyk, 38, found himself back in custody arrested on suspicion of driving whilst disqualified just minutes after leaving Swindon Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to an offence of dangerous driving from November 2019.
Crown prosecutor Tom Power told the court the defendant, of Highfield, Bromham, had repeatedly swerved across both lanes of the A342 St Ediths Marsh in successful attempts to stop the vehicles – a van and a car – from overtaking his van.
Magistrates imposed a 12-month driving disqualification, with an order to complete an extended re-test before being able to obtain a new license, and a £150 fine. He was categorically told he must not drive from that moment.
But around 30 minutes later, at 11.40am police stopped M4-bound Wanczyk in his Citroen Relay in the Blagrove area of Great Western Way. He was arrested and taken to Gablecross Police Station before re-appearing before Swindon Magistrates’ Court via video link just a few hours later – at 4.30pm.
Appearing for the Crown once again, Mr Power said he has been seen to leave the court, get into his van and drive off. The police were called and he was stopped by officers four miles away.
He added that the defendant had multiple warnings he could not drive following the morning’s conviction, but he decided to make the journey home regardless. He said the offence crossed the custodial sentence threshold.
Defending, advocate Liz Highams told the court her client had left the court and driven off. She accepted it has crossed the custody threshold but sought a suspended sentence.
It was said Wanczyk wanted to take this van home and thought it wouldn’t be able to drive from then onwards.
Ms Highams said he has two 12-year-old twins at home to support, and his wife does not work due to suffering mental health issues. She asked the bench to take into account his family circumstances when deciding on a sentence.
Magistrates imposed a 12-week prison sentence but suspended it for 18 months.
He was ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid work and his driving disqualification was extended by six months to 18 months, rather than 12.