A Swindon man who kept driving despite being banned from the roads now has the threat of jail hanging over his head.

David Royston Watkins-Rudman was twice caught driving whilst disqualified in 2021.

On the first occasion in March 2021, he was driving a Vauxhall Corsa on Bodiam Drive in Toothill when he was stopped by a marked police car.

He told the officer that he did not know he was disqualified. That day, he had also made off without paying for more than £50 of fuel at the Esso petrol station on Hungerdown Lane, Chippenham.

Six months later, he was behind the wheel of a Citroen C3, this time knowing he was banned, prosecutor Pauline Lambert told the court.

“Mr Watkins-Rudman admitted he had no insurance, and the vehicle was registered in a false name but it belonged to him.

“In the vehicle they could smell cannabis, and with a drug wipe, it was positive for cocaine.”

A blood test revealed he was more than four times the drug-drive limit for cocaine, and more than 80 times the drug-drive limit for Benzoylecgonine, a breakdown product of the Class A drug.

The court heard how the 35-year-old subject to a suspended sentence after he was caught selling drugs for the Alex county line.

In March, he was back before the court for failing to attend unpaid work, but was given a final chance to avoid prison by the judge. These offences pre-date that breach.

Defending, Mark Glendenning said that the DVLA had told his client his disqualification had ended before the first offence in March, but admitted that had he tried to insure the car, the company would have declined it and told him he was still banned.

“What I’m told by probation and Mr Watkins-Rudman is after a number of convictions being dealt with by probation, he is now engaging and taking their help.

“He is asking for an opportunity to continue engaging with them. He completed the curfew without any issues or breaches.”

Watkins-Rudman, of Sheppard Street, appeared in court where he pleaded guilty to two counts of driving whilst disqualified, two counts of driving with no insurance, two counts of drug driving, and one count of making off without payment.

Sentencing, District Judge Joanna Dickens said: “I accept, I’ve got no other evidence, there may have been genuine confusion.

“The real problem with you is the spate of offending which happens on 20th September.”

She said “no one would complain if I sent you to prison”.

However, the district judge accepted he was willing to work on his addiction and said: “You’re 35 and you’re going to want to stop taking drugs sooner rather than later, before you kill yourself.”

District Judge Dickens issued a 12-week jail sentence, suspended for a year. In that time, he must carry out 15 rehabilitation activity days.

He was also fined £200, ordered to pay costs of £85 and a £95 victim surcharge, and banned from the roads for three years.

Reacting to the sentence, PC Luke Hobbs, from Wiltshire Police’s Roads Policing Team, said: “This case highlights the importance of us proactively patrolling areas so we can apprehend drivers who are breaking the law.

“Motorists are given driving bans for a reason, usually because they have already proven that they can’t be trusted to drive in a safe and responsible way.

“We will continue to work hard to ensure those who are disqualified adhere to the rules and don’t get away with flouting their ban.”