Disqualified driver from Wrexham gave false name when stopped by police

Reporter:

Court Reporter

A dangerous driver failed to give his real name to police when stopped behind the wheel.

Nathan Johan Gallagher, 29, of Lorne Street, Wrexham, was stopped by police on Bellevue Road on August 8 and repeatedly gave his name as John Carter to officers, insisting that he had a valid driving licence.

But it turned out Gallagher had been disqualified from driving in 2004 after a dangerous driving offence and had never taken the extended retest needed to get his licence back.

PC Colin Colbourn had been on patrol driving down Holt Street at about 2.30am when Gallagher was spotted behind the wheel of a Renault Megane.

He appeared to be loitering and waiting for the officers to drive past despite having right of way.

PC Colbourn drove on before turning round near the entrance to Waterworld and followed Gallagher, stopping him on Bellevue Road.

Gallagher told PC Colbourn his name was John Carter and added he did not have any identification with him at the time.

Officers said he was behaving in a suspicious manner and Gallagher repeatedly insisted his name was John Carter despite the police database having no such record.

Eventually Gallagher was arrested on suspicion of driving without a licence or insurance. He was taken to Wrexham police station and again gave his name as John Carter but when searched, a bank card in his real name was found.

And it became apparent that Gallagher had been banned from driving in 2004 and was not eligible to get behind the wheel.

Despite this, he maintained his name was John Carter and denied he was disqualified from driving.

Gallagher appeared for sentencing before Wrexham Magistrates’ Court, having been found guilty of driving while disqualified and obstructing a police officer in execution of duty after a trial.

He had admitted charges of driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and driving without insurance.

Rhian Jackson, prosecuting, said in addition to the 2004 dangerous driving matter, Gallagher had three other instances of driving while disqualified on his record.

Probation officer Andrew Connah said Gallagher, who lives with his mother, still denied the offences despite being found guilty.

He was assessed as being a medium to high risk of reoffending and a medium risk of causing harm to the public.

Mr Connah said: “I don’t think he understands the potential seriousness of his offences and he does not feel they would justify a prison sentence.

“I did point out to him that his previous offences could cause him difficulty.”

But magistrates drew back from sending Gallagher to prison. For driving while disqualified, he was handed a 12-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months.

For obstructing a police officer, Gallagher was fined £50. He was also ordered to undertake a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

There were no separate penalties for the driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and insurance charges.

Gallagher was banned from driving for a further 12 months and reminded he must take an extended retest before getting back behind the wheel.

In addition, £250 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge were also imposed.

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