A BANNED motorist made the mistake of getting behind the wheel after his driver was unable to go on because of a migraine, a court heard.

John Boulton was parked in an Iveco flat-bed truck at the Asda petrol station in Station Road, Cross Hills, in the late afternoon of November 23 last year when he was questioned by a police officer who believed he was disqualified from driving.

Boulton, 27, admitted to the officer he was banned. He had a passenger with him, and so the vehicle was not seized at the time, heard Skipton Magistrates Court today. 

The court was told Boulton had been originally banned from driving for a year in July, 2023, for drug-driving. In May this year, he was banned by Lancaster magistrates for an additional four months for driving whilst disqualified in April. The Skipton court heard he had driven that time because the driver had suffered a serious panic attack on a busy motorway.

Boulton, who the court heard was a family man who had a landscaping business with his father, admitted driving whilst banned and without insurance in Cross Hills on November 23 last year.

The court heard in mitigation that he had driven just a short distance after his employee, who had been driving him around, was unable to go on because of a migraine, and had pulled up at the side of the road.

Boulton had called his father for help, but his father was unavailable, so he had made the decision to drive a short distance to the petrol station to wait there for help.

Probation officer, Andrew Watson, told the court that Boulton had used cannabis to self-medicate as a way of coping with undiagnosed ADHD. Following his conviction for drug-driving, he had been given an ultimatum by his partner, and he had not used cannabis since.

He regretted what he had done and accepted he had to pay the price after making the decision to drive, said Mr Watson, who added Boulton said he would learn from his mistake.

The magistrates chair told Boulton that the bench had seriously considered sending him into custody and told him she did not want to hear any more 'medical emergencies excuses' from him again.

Boulton, of Guard House Avenue, was given a 12-month community order with 280 hours unpaid work. He was also banned from driving for 15 months and was ordered to pay costs of £85 and a surcharge of £114.