Suspended Sentence for Disqualified Driver
Suspended Sentence For Woman Who Drove From Court After Disqualification
Tania Filipa Mendes-Dias, a 30-year-old nurse, from Tunbridge Wells was summonsed to Crawley Magistrates Court on 24th January 2017 in relation to 6 speeding offences committed between May and July 2016.
At Court, Ms Mendes-Dias pleaded guilty to all 6 speeding offences resulting in her facing disqualification under the totting up provisions. Ms Mendes mitigated the offences by stating she was unaware of the speed limits for the roads until she received the Notices of Intended Prosecution.
Ms Mendes then put forward an argument of exceptional hardship to the Court to avoid disqualification from driving. The Magistrates did not find exceptional hardship and so disqualified Ms Mendes for 6 months.
She was ordered to pay a total fine of £600, £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge. The Chairman read out the Disqualification Warning to Ms Mendes in open court confirming that she was disqualified from that moment. Ms Mendes responded to say she had driven to Court that day and was told that she could not drive her vehicle home and would be required to make alternative arrangements.
Ms Mendes-Dias demeanour aroused suspicion amongst the two Sussex Police Court Presentation Officers (Kellie Aylward and Francesca Safiruddin) who were present during the Court hearing and it was suspected that Ms Mendes-Dias may take a risk and drive her vehicle home. She was observed leaving the court building and walking away, in the opposite direction to where she could catch public transport.
Seen Driving Past Court
Approximately 5 minutes later she was observed in her Mercedes motor vehicle driving past the Court, looking straight in the direction of the building as she drove past. The Road Policing Unit were passed the details of the Defendant and her vehicle in an attempt to catch Ms Mendes-Dias driving out of Sussex. The information was then passed to Kent Police who drove to her home address in Tunbridge Wells to catch the Defendant as she Thirty-year-old home.
Ms Mendes-Dias was caught by Kent Police upon her arrival home and subsequently arrested. She was charged with driving without insurance and disqualified driving and remanded in custody. She was put before Medway Magistrates Court the following day.
She pleaded guilty to both offences and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment for 63 days, suspended for 1 year, a fine of £530, a victim surcharge of £115 and costs of £85.