A DODGY driver who shares his name with fictional law enforcer Judge Dredd has clocked up his 10th conviction for driving while disqualified.

Joseph Judge Dredd, 49, got behind the wheel of his mobility car to confront the dad of someone he believed had stolen from him.

He was spared jail despite magistrates labelling his record of driving offences appalling.

Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard Dredd had been sent a series of aggressive text messages on January 16 from an individual he believed had stolen from him. The alleged thief was not identified to the court, nor were the items he suspected had been pinched.

Among the texter’s threats was a claim they would get their dad to “rape” him.

Dredd was at home and drunk. Parked on the driveway was his modified Dacia Duster.

Despite having been banned from driving by magistrates in October, he got into the car and made his way to the Baileys Farmhouse accommodation complex in Walcot.

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Judge Dredd outside Swindon Magistrates' Court

Prosecutor Michelle Hewitt said a member of the public had spotted Dredd getting into the car. Suspecting he was drunk, they had reported the man to the police.

“The police were therefore looking for his vehicle and they had information from Swindon Council CCTV that the defendant was in the driver’s seat at the car park at Baileys Farmhouse,” she said.

“They found the defendant in the driving side. CCTV did show the defendant clearly driving into the car park just before the police arrived.”

He refused to be breathalysed but told police when he was interviewed that he had been drinking.

Ms Hewitt said Dredd had a history of driving offences starting in the 1990s and fizzling out in 2003. He was banned from the roads for 20 months last year for drink driving in the same Dacia in which he was caught last month.

Dredd, of Pinehurst Road, admitted failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis and driving whilst disqualified.

The court heard the grandfather suffered from poor physical and mental health. He had been diagnosed with a heart condition late last year. The ailment left him short of breath and it was for this reason he had refused to take the breath test.

Gordon Hotson, defending, acknowledged his client had not explained his health problems sufficiently to police. He had offered a blood sample as an alternative to the breathalyser.

“He was a fool to get in the car, sitting out there temptingly on the drive, and go and remonstrate with someone who was making threats,” the solicitor said.

JPs heard Dredd was a regular drinker, sometimes downing as many as 10 cans of booze a day. Other weeks passed without a drop passing his lips.

Magistrates sentenced him to an 18 month community order and banned him from the roads for three years and four months. He must abide by a six week curfew, complete up to 20 rehabilitation sessions and a six month alcohol rehab programme.

Chairman of the bench Alison Auvray said: “Driving whilst disqualified normally attracts a custodial sentence and you’ve got a bench here that would not normally hesitate but to send someone to prison.

“Even though you’ve got an appalling record for driving whilst disqualified it’s been a considerable number of years since you last did so. We’ve taken that into account.”

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Sylvester Stallone as Judge Dredd

Judge Dredd is a fictional superhero in the comic strip bible 2000 AD.

He is a so-called street judge in dystopian metropolis Mega-City One and has the power to arrest, try and summarily execute anyone he suspects of wrongdoing.

The character rose to prominence partly thanks to the mid-1990s film starring Sylvester Stallone in the titular role.

He is known for the catchphrase: “I am the law.”