A MAN who had been banned from driving blamed the effects of gritting sand in jamming up his bike mechanism as the reason why he decided to go to work in his car instead of cycling.

William Luke Pickering, 24, pleaded guilty at Wrexham Magistrates Court to involving driving a car while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Pickering had been caught at the wheel of a Ford Escort on Salop Road in Overton on January 4.

He was on his way to work as a dairy engineer.

For the defence, magistrates were told Pickering, of Denbigh Road, Ruthin, fully admitted his offences to the police, was remorseful about his behaviour and pleaded guilty to the charges at the first opportunity.

Late last year he had received a disqualification.

Following his ban Pickering moved to Penley to be close to his place of employment and from then on had consistently gone into work by cycle.

However on January 4 Pickering was unable to use his bike, because gritting salt which had put down by the council on the roads to clear ice and snow had become embedded in the mechanism.

As a result he chose to go to work by car and was subsequently caught by the police.

It was the only occasion in which Pickering had broken the motoring ban which had been imposed on him.

Magistrates decided Pickering should be made the subject of a fast delivery report carried out by Probation Service officers.

Pickering, who had already forfeited his vehicle to the police, received a sentence of eight weeks custody, suspended for 12 months, was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, had his driving ban extended by 12 months and was told to pay £85 costs.