Repeat motoring offender is jailed after he was caught driving while disqualified for the 36th time

A serial motoring offender with 35 previous convictions for driving while disqualified has been jailed after he was spotted behind the wheel despite still being banned from the road.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on September 11 how Richard Jonathan Hardy, 42, of Oakdale Road, South Normanton, was captured and identified by police on CCTV getting petrol from a service station on Mansfield Road, at South Normanton.

Pictured is serial motoring offender Richard Jonathan Hardy, 42, of Oakdale Road, South Normanton, who has been jailed for 18 weeks after he admitted driving while disqualified.

Pictured is serial motoring offender Richard Jonathan Hardy, 42, of Oakdale Road, South Normanton, who has been jailed for 18 weeks after he admitted driving while disqualified.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “An officer went to a petrol station in South Normanton and saw CCTV footage showing an Audi driving on the garage forecourt on July 15 in the morning and Hardy was the driver and the officer recognised him.”

Hardy told police he had received a phone call that his deceased mother’s home had been burgled and he took the risk of driving to the property and he went for fuel at the petrol station.

Mrs Allsop said that Hardy has 35 previous convictions for driving while disqualified and his current disqualification was imposed for dangerous driving.

Hardy pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and to driving without insurance after he was spotted on July 15.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Defence solicitor Serena Simpson said: “He had received a phone call from his mother’s house, who is recently deceased, that the door was open and he panicked and his partner couldn’t drive because she is disqualified and he made a foolish decision to get into the car.”

Ms Simpson added that Hardy suffers with serious respiratory problems after he has been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and his condition is expected to deteriorate.

The defendant has subsequently relapsed into heroin use, according to Ms Simpson, and his partner claims this has been linked to his behaviour.

Ms Simpson said: “He does want to make a change and he doesn’t want to be part of the revolving door system of going into prison and coming out and then going back in again.”

Magistrates sentenced Hardy to 18 weeks of custody and ordered him to pay a £122 victim surcharge.

He was also banned from driving for a further three years.