Sick driver spared jail

POOR health saved a pensioner from prison after he admitted driving while disqualified. Kenneth Cook, 71, of Peregrine Close, Huntingdon had driven to the local shops to buy his dinner, magistrates at Huntingdon heard. Cook, who was banned from the road f

POOR health saved a pensioner from prison after he admitted driving while disqualified.

Kenneth Cook, 71, of Peregrine Close, Huntingdon had driven to the local shops to buy his dinner, magistrates at Huntingdon heard.

Cook, who was banned from the road for drink-driving last year, pledged to give up his car following the incident.

John Goodier, prosecuting, told the court how an off-duty police officer had spotted Cook's Skoda travelling very slowly along Coneygear Road.

Mr Goodier said: "The vehicle continued to drive slowly and the driver appeared to have trouble finding second gear.

"As he returned home Mr Cook swung across the grass verge, hitting a fence post outside his house."

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Mitigating, Mark Shelley urged magistrates not to send Cook, who attended court with a breathing aid, to prison.

He said: "Although this offence might ordinarily carry a prison sentence, with Mr Cook's poor health this is clearly not appropriate.

"He is suffering from heart and lung disease and intends to sell his car."

Magistrates fined Cook, a former NHS worker, £615 and extended his driving ban into 2009. He was also ordered to pay £60 costs.