Serial Sheffield driving offender spared from jail after Covid-19 court delays
A serial driving offender has been spared from jail after he managed to get his life back on track while his sentencing was delayed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sheffield Crown Court heard on February 22 how Lewis Hopkinson, aged 23, of Margetson Crescent, Parson Crescent, Sheffield, was originally subjected to a suspended custodial sentence for driving while disqualified and a drug matter which he breached by failing to comply with requirements and by committing further offences.
Judge Roger Thomas QC said that shortly after the imposition of the suspended sentence Hopkinson was caught driving while disqualified again and he had exceeded the limit for cannabis consumption while driving and he was not insured and he had failed to stop for police in March, 2018.
Hopkinson was also caught two months later driving while disqualified and without insurance in May, 2018, and he failed to attend court, according to Judge Thomas.
Judge Thomas added that ordinarily breaching a suspended sentence twice would inevitably result in a custodial sentence but he acknowledged there has been a considerable delay for the sentencing hearing partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also recognised that Hopkinson is getting on top of his cannabis problem and he has settled down and he is living with his family and he has a relationship.
Rebecca Tanner, defending, said: “There is some hope in relation to this young man.”
Judge Thomas told Hopkinson: “If this had come much quicker to court you would not have stood a chance of going home. Your feet would not have touched the ground.”
He added: “The fact you have settled down is something that will save your bacon today.”
But Judge Thomas warned that although Hopkinson’s life is now moving in the right direction and the defendant has started using less cannabis he needed to kick the habit altogether.
Judge Thomas sentenced Hopkinson to a 12 month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work and a four-month curfew operating daily between 8pm and 6am.
Hopkinson was also fined £10 and disqualified from driving for 12 months.