AN East Cowes man caught by police twice in 28 days driving while disqualified and with no insurance has avoided jail partly due to a ‘high prison population at the moment’.

Jamie John McClelland, of Cromwell Avenue, East Cowes, previously pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified and using a motor vehicle without insurance and appeared before the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, March 21, for sentencing.

Ann Smout, prosecuting, said the 40-year-old was travelling along Havant Road in Cosham on January 29, 2022, when police spotted him weaving in the lane.

He passed a breath test, but police found he was disqualified and had no insurance for his boss's Mercedes he was driving.

The court heard how, less than a month later, on February 26, 2022, disqualified McClelland was pulled over again by police, this time on Dell Piece West in Waterlooville, driving a different Mercedes car.

Mrs Smout said McClelland told police he believed he was added as a named driver by his friend, who owned the car, but could not confirm under which insurance provider.

The prosecution described the offence as "complete flouting of the law."

McClelland had been handed a 12-month disqualification on March 2, 2020, but despite serving his ban had not passed the extended test required before he could get back behind the wheel.

Barry Arnett, defending, said his client struggles with being an outcast in his family after they turned against him.

Mr Arnett told the court that McClelland is keen to engage with services for help in the future, including mental health services.

Magistrates' told McClelland he could have been jailed, but taking into account his probation report, mental health and a 'high prison population at the moment', instead handed him an eight-week jail sentence, suspended for one year.

He is also required to attend 25 rehabilitation days, serve an 18-month driving disqualification and pay a £154 surcharge and £85 costs.