"One of the worst driving records I've seen"...Judge rejects former nightclub owner’s ban appeal

This Is Wiltshire: Jason Ranford outside Swindon Magistrates’ Court in February Jason Ranford outside Swindon Magistrates’ Court in February

THE former manager of the Brunel Rooms has failed in a bid to have a driving ban shortened after he was again caught behind the wheel while disqualified.

Jason Ranford, who has a history of fraud and driving offences, said he needed his licence so he could find work as a letting agent.

The 28-year-old said during his last prison sentence he realised the pain his offending was causing to his family, especially his mother.

And he said he was only driving on the consecutive days in January because he mistakenly thought he was allowed back behind the wheel.

Describing his driving history as ‘one of the worst records of its type that I have seen for many, many years’, Judge Tim Mousley QC, sitting with two magistrates, threw out the appeal.

Ranford accepted he had been ‘arrogant’ in the past, even lying to the mother of his four-and-a-half-year-old son that he was legal to drive before taking the lad for a visit.

Colin Meeke, for the Crown, told Swindon Crown Court he had nine previous convictions for driving while banned before the latest two.

He said he was seen on CCTV driving a BMW from the Market Street car park on to Commercial Road on January 20.

The next day the vehicle was spotted at the Cross Keys, Wanborough, and Ranford was stopped by watching police as he went to drive away.

When he appeared before the justices on April 4 he was jailed for 18 weeks and banned from driving for a further 30 months.

Ranford, formerly of Beech Avenue but now living in Victoria Road, represented himself at his appeal.

He said: “On that list, I hold my hands up. There is nothing I can say apart from ‘I’m terribly sorry about the last ten years’.

“My attitude towards court orders is best described as arrogant. I have been to prison for it.”

He said during the latest sentence, which ended last week, he realised the pain he had caused other members of his family after doing a victim awareness course.

“Before it has not really served as a deterrent. Having spoken to my family I realise the impact it has on them. I have been away and I can do the time. I worry about my mum getting ill with worry.”

Although he was banned for two years in the Midlands in March 2012, he said he thought the one-year ban in Swindon six months later was the only one in force.

He said he needed his licence as he had the offer of work in lettings after plans for a club in Essex fell through while he was inside.

Ranford said the BMW is a work car from the family business DPR Transport, of which he says he is still a director, and covered by an ‘any driver' insurance policy.

The judge told him: “You have a bad record for driving while disqualified. For my part it is one of the worst records of its type that I have seen for many, many years.

“We regard you as someone who has a flagrant disregard for the sentence of the court and we are concerned about the insurance for this car you were driving at the time.

“A ban is not to punish the offender but to protect people from those who drive while disqualified.”

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