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Young farmer tells judge prison sentence ‘would be waste of taxpayers’ money’

A young farmer has been handed a suspended prison sentence after driving his tractor whilst disqualified.

Thomas Savage, 20, of Drumlin Road, Donaghcloney, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ on Friday charged with driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

The incident occurred at around 10.30am on October 20, last year, when police spotted the defendant driving a Ford tractor on the Moss Road, near Portadown.

The court heard that the Savage had been disqualified at Newry court the previous month.

Defence counsel explained that after speaking to Savage they felt the “penny had dropped” that what he had done was wrong, adding that there were no pending charges against the defendant.

It was explained that Savage was a self-employed farmer and would have to find a new role within his work.

Savage spoke out in court telling District Judge Bernie Kelly that “I realise what I did was stupid”, adding that he was willing to be served another ban.

Judge Kelly told the defendant “the least of your problems is a driving ban”, explaining further by saying, “I can send you to prison”.

Savage retorted that if he was sent to prison it would be “more taxpayers money wasted”.

Judge Kelly commented that the defendant still has not learned, adding “if I believe anything short of custody is not going to prevent you from driving, I have no choice”.

She continued saying that “a breach of a court order is a serious matter”.

Court heard that Savage has two previous charges of no insurance on his record.

Judge Kelly banned the defendant from driving for 12 months and sentenced him to four months in prison suspended for 18 months.

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