Judge warns offender “excuses will not work” as she is threatened with jail

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A judge warned an offender that more excuses will not spare her from jail if she continues to fail to comply with her suspended prison sentence.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, July 17, how Clare Pocock, 39, of Ludham Gardens, Newbold, Chesterfield, admitted breaching a suspended sentence imposed for driving while disqualified when she failed to attend appointments and breached her curfew.

Defence solicitor Steve Brint said Pocock had suffered mental health problems after a troubled relationship, has been struggling with a child with mental health issues, had failed to provide evidence she had gone on a holiday to Egypt, and had breached a curfew to feed her pets.

District Judge Andrew Davison told Pocock: “I am satisfied it would be unjust and disproportionate to send you to prison and it would be more of a punishment for your kids than you.”

He added: “I am going to allow the suspended sentence order to continue. But if you breach it a second time the mitigation put forward will not work.”

The court heard Pocock has two previous convictions including failing to ensure one of her children attended school - for which she received a community order - and driving while disqualified for which she received eight weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a curfew and activity appointments.

Mr Brint said Pocock was caught driving while disqualified when she chose to drive because she was late for a probation appointment.

He added that a new partner had also decided to pay for a holiday for Egypt which she mentioned to the probation service but failed to provide evidence of the holiday in a specified time.

Mr Brint also said other breaches were accumulative with delays created after she took a child to hospital and breached her curfew when she left her property so she could go to a garage and feed the family’s guinea pigs and rabbits.

Pocock also admitted failing to attend a court hearing on July 16 after she had suffered a panic attack and was unwell, according to Mr Brint, but she later went to the police station and was taken into custody.

District Judge Davison opted not to activate Pocock’s suspended sentence order and send her to prison and instead allowed the existing order to continue with five additional Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days.

But he warned Pocock: “If you breach this by offending or not turning-up, excuses will not work.”

The court heard Pocock owes the court £2,571 in outstanding accounts so she was not ordered to pay any further legal costs.