A FATHER of two serving a driving ban, was spared imprisonment after police caught him behind the wheel of a car.

Richard William Sullivan was handed a 12-month community order and an extended driving ban after he admitted taking a Vauxhall Mocha without the owner's consent, driving while disqualified and without insurance, along Newport's Riverway industrial estate on July 1.

Sullivan, of Brickfield Close, Newport, was spotted by police driving the car, reported as taken without consent, to Lidl, said Liz Miller, prosecuting, at the IW Magistrates Court on Tuesday (8).

Probation officer, Kelly Gough, told the bench Sullivan, 45, had driven for about 30 years and that his latest offence was his third driving while disqualified, albeit he had only driven a short distance.

Sullivan is a carer for his wife, with mental heath issues, who desperately needs to be able to drive, said James Cameron, representing him.

Island magistrates extended Sullivan's existing driving ban by six months and, as part of his probation order, he was handed 200 hours' unpaid work, with £85 costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

"It was an extremely serious offence. There is good reason why people are disqualified," said presiding magistrate, Gordon Cooper.