Drink driver asks judge to lift ban after landing lead role in BBC TV series

A drink and drug-driver told a judge he had landed "a leading role" in a BBC period drama in the hope of overturning his driving ban

Monday, 31st May 2021, 11:56 am

David Staton Perkins, formerly of Dronfield and now living in Marsh Lane near Eckington, said he would be appearing in the The Gallows Pole - directed by Shane Meadows who made the multi-award-winning This is England.

Filming begins in September and Perkins hoped to have his driving ban lifted to avoid paying a driver to get him to and from shoots.

The 35-year-old said since his conviction in 2019 he had "turned his life around" with the help of a life coach and had started his own car mechanic business.

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However – despite being impressed with Perkins’ efforts – Judge Jonathan Taaffe denied the soon-to-be actor's application to have the ban lifted.

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court heard Perkins was disqualified from driving for three years following his second drink or drug-driving conviction in April 2019.

This week he appeared in court to apply for it to be cut short.

Addressing the judge, Perkins said: "I feel really proud of myself to have landed a role in a Shane Meadows BBC drama which starts filming in September.

David Staton Perkins said he would be appearing in BBC period drama The Gallows Pole. Image: Pixabay

"It’s called The Gallows Pole and without my licence I will have to pay someone to take me to filming when it begins in September."

Judge Taaffe asked: "What role will you be playing?"

Perkins, of Ridge Road, Marsh Lane, replied: "A leading role."

The defendant also told Judge Taaffe there were “no excuses” for what he had done – adding: “I made two massive mistakes - I had been drinking and taking cocaine.

"I massively regret what I did but since then I have more than turned my life around.

"I have taken on a life coach, only have the occasional drink and have stopped taking drugs.

"I have started my own business as a car mechanic and the ban makes it difficult to road test vehicles and so I rely on my father to do that for me."

After considering the application the judge told Perkins, formerly of Wreakes Lane, Dronfield: "I am pleased you have turned your life around and you are to be congratulated for that.

"It is also commendable that you have realised the error of your ways but I regret to say I take the view the ban should not be lifted.

"Unless there are truly exceptional circumstances as a matter of public policy the three years should be done in full.

"The message has to be sent out that if you drink-drive or drug-drive on more than one occasion the mandatory disqualification will be three years."

Shane Meadows - who shot to fame with films such as This is England, Dead Man's Shoes and once Upon a Time in the Midlands - is to make his first ever drama for the BBC with a series adaptation of Benjamin Myers’ historical novel The Gallows Pole.

The series will be based on the 2017 novel of the same name - which fictionalises the true story of 18th century ironworker David Hartley and the Cragg Vale Coiners.