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Reading Magistrates' Court: man rages at judge as he is jailed for driving offences

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A MOTORIST tried to shout down a district judge who was jailing him for driving offences.

It didn't work.

And the 30-year-old was still grumbling as he was led from the dock at Reading Magistrates' Court on Thursday, October 28, to the cells to await a prison van.

Court (52732385)
Court (52732385)

Earlier his solicitor had suggested her client had been on an emergency mercy mission after the mother of his children was taken ill.

But prosecutor Clare Barclay told the court that, after being arrested for driving without a licence or insurance and in defiance of a suspended sentence order, Levi Heholt had merely told police in a signed statement: "I know I shouldn't have been driving. I don't care."

When Mr Heholt, of Bucknell Avenue, Pangbourne, committed his latest offences he was still subject to the suspended sentence order imposed earlier this year for driving while disqualified, a number of thefts and defying a court order.

The latest offences occurred, said Ms Barclay, when police saw him behind the wheel on Saturday, October 9, and arrested him.

At Thursday's hearing Mr Heholt admitted driving without a valid licence and driving while disqualified, in breach of the suspended sentence order.

Honorata Choloniewska, defending, told district judge Robert Brown: "I will be inviting you not to activate the suspended sentence but to impose a financial penalty, and a financial penalty for these other matters."

She pointed out that her client had committed no other offences, apart from these, since it was imposed in April, until this month.

Ms Choloniewska said Mr Heholt was due to go on a course to improve his forklift driving skills the following day and added: "He is scared of going to prison."

She claimed Mr Heholt's partner had been taken ill and he was driving "in a panic" to his father to arrange emergency child support.

District judge Brown then asked whether Mr Heholt had told police this during interview.

Ms Barclay then showed the court a signed statement in which Mr Heholt made no mention of any such emergency but had instead told officers he knew he was committing criminal offences by driving but simply "didn't care".

Mr Brown asked: "How could it be right not to activate the suspended sentence?" – at which point an apparently startled Mr Heholt began shouting: "What? You're really going to activate it? I haven't even got [an overnight] bag. My son is waiting for me."

As Mr Heholt continued to berate the court the district judge retorted: "You told police you knew you shouldn't have been driving and that you didn't care.

"I am activating the suspended sentence in full."

In addition to the 12 weeks imprisonment – half of which will be served behind bars and the remainder on licence in the community – Mr Heholt was banned from driving for 12 months.

He was also fined £200.

Finally, he was ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £34.

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