A Mildenhall man caught driving illegally just six months after committing an identical offence has been jailed for three months and banned from driving for almost four years.
Istvan Szatmari, 49, of Clare Close, pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified and driving without third-party insurance on March 25, during a Norwich Magistrates’ Court hearing last Friday.
In doing so, Szatmari, who is originally from Hungary, breached the conditions of a 12-week suspended prison sentence, which he received following convictions last October of driving whilst disqualified and driving when over the legal alcohol limit.
Anna Crayford, Crown Prosecutor, told the court Szatmari was pulled over as he was travelling along Earlham Road, in Norwich, by police, whose subsequent inquiries showed he was not legally allowed to drive.
Ms Crayford said: “The defendant was interviewed and admitted both offences. He produced his Hungarian license in an attempt to evade prosecution.
“He claimed to have owned the car for four months. He wanted to take his girlfriend out because she had just arrived in the country.”
Szatmari, who did not seek legal representation for his hearing, urged the court to consider a non-custodial sentence, due to his concern for his children in Hungary and his elderly parents.
Speaking through an interpreter, he said: “Because my female friend had arrived two days before, I just wanted to show her the town in good will. Before that, I did not drive the car because I work in Mildenhall and I am always cycling to work.”
However, after deliberation, magistrates handed Szatmari a 12-week prison sentence, reduced from 16 weeks in light of his early guilty plea, and a further one week in custody for breaching his previous suspended sentence, to be served consecutively.
In addition, he was given a 46-month driving ban, starting from the day of his release, and he was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80.