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Moray driver with 26 bans caught on the road again

By Ali Morrison

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Elgin Sheriff Court.
Elgin Sheriff Court.

An Elgin man with no fewer than 26 driving bans has appeared in court after he was seen riding a quadbike on the road.

John Dunnigan had previously been disqualified for a total of 270 years – including two lifetime bans.

He was arrested again on August 13 after being spotted riding the quadbike near his home on Jamieson Drive, Elgin.

The 42-year-old subsequently spent just over a month behind bars on remand.

Dunnigan appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to one charge of driving while banned, and another of not being insured.

Defence solicitor Stephen Carty explained that his client was only disqualified from driving upon the road.

It was claimed that, on the day of the offence, Dunnigan had been taking his quadbike to a stretch of open ground nearby where he could ride it without breaking the law.

However, in order to get there he drove on both Jamieson Drive and MacBeath Avenue

Mr Carty said: "He made a very foolish decision which he appreciates he should not have made. Given his record he should have definitely known better."

The lawyer then asked the court not to impose a prison sentence.

Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov pointed out that this was the second time Dunnigan had been caught defying his road ban within the past year.

On the last occasion he had been jailed for four months.

Sheriff Pasportnikov questioned what was different this time round.

Mr Carty replied: "I think age is catching up with him. At long last he's realised that any form of driving is going to lead to him getting into trouble."

Repeating his request for Dunnigan to be spared jail, Mr Carty continued: "His previous offences have been while he was behind the wheel of a car. This wasn't.

"Also, he's already spent a period of time on remand.

"If the court agrees to impose a community-based sentence then he's under no illusions about what would happen if he failed to comply.

"He knows if he breaks it in any way, then his feet won't touch the ground before he ends up in custody again."

The defendant was placed under the court's supervision for the next 18 months.

In addition, he was ordered to stay indoors between the hours of 7pm-7am for the next 163 days.

Dundee Sheriff Court, in 2015, jailed Dunnigan for almost two years after he was caught flouting his road ban for the 23rd time.

He was said to have later moved up to Moray for a "fresh start".

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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