As I said in an earlier post, I've got a 73 year old constituent, no previous convictions except a speeding offence, who's been given a 12 month driving ban and a 3 month curfew, with electronic tagging, after failing to report an accident. He stopped at the scene, and wasn't responsible for the accident, so it seems pretty draconian. On Friday I tabled a series of parliamentary questions, to try to find out more about when tagging is used for road traffic offences, and asking for a breakdown between drink-driving offences, driving whilst disqualified and other RTA offences. (It seems to me that my constituent must have been sentenced on the suspicion that he'd been drink driving, but that seems rather a speculative approach to sentencing!)
I now discover from the Indy diary that Paul Staines (aka the blogger Guido Fawkes) has been handed a 3 year driving ban, with an electronic tag & 3 month curfew for a drink driving conviction, & was told he was a ‘danger to the public’. In the unlikely event Mr Staines is reading this, can I assure him - my PQs were nothing whatsoever to do with you. (But you might like to look at the answers!)
Assuming the Indy article is accurate (a lawyer writes), then it seems that Mr Staines has a number of previous convictions for alcohol-related offences and this was his second drink-driving offence within a few years. Hence the 3 year ban. I can see the point of tagging and a curfew in these circumstances, as the District Judge clearly felt that it was necessary to stop him going out drinking and driving again. In my days working at a magistrates court (21 years ago - blimey!) someone with a similar record might well have got a custodial sentence. But my constituent's case seems very different.P.S. And here's a slightly different account of the same incident, also from the Indy diary column. Not exactly racked with remorse, is he?