Man is sentenced after series of driving offences

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A MOTORIST who filled his car at an Eastbourne petrol station and left without paying has appeared in court.

Gareth Pindard stopped at the United Petroleum garage in Trinity Trees and put £20 in the tank but told staff he had no means to pay and filled in a form to say he would return to cover the cost.

On the same day he drove to a petrol station owned by the same company in Old Town, put in a similar amount, said he could not pay and again filled out a form using a fake name.

Eastbourne magistrates heard that on both occasions the 28-year-old, of Ninfield Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, only had a provisional licence, no-one was in the car with him and he was not displaying L-plates.

In a separate incident, police attended Pindard’s property and in a room belonging to the defendant they discovered a tent with fans and two cannabis plants.

He was then arrested on a later date and found to be in possession of 1.6g of herbal cannabis.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of driving a motor vehicle otherwise in accordance with a licence, two counts of driving with no insurance, two counts of fraud by false representation and possessing and producing cannabis.

He also asked for six other matters relating to the non-payment of petrol to be taken into account.

Noelle McGuinness, defending, said, “In relation to the driving he was able to gain employment and needed his own transport to get to and from jobs. He had a provisional licence and was going about doing his test and his theory to get his full licence.”

Regarding the drug offences Ms McGuinness said the cannabis found was for Pindard’s own personal use.

After reading pre-sentence reports magistrates sentenced Pindard to a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work.

His licence was endorsed and he was disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for 18 months.

He must also pay £40.03 in compensation to the petrol stations.