AN IT repair technician who got away with driving without a licence for 17 years has been banned from driving after causing an accident on the B3232.
Kai Mark Hirst, 33, of 2 New Buildings, Barnstaple, caused the accident in February this year, when he crashed into a Ford Transit van while driving on the wrong side of the road.
David Barnes, for the prosecution, explained how Hirst had attempted to follow a Daihatsu as it overtook a bus.
"As the Daihatsu cleared the bus and pulled in the road ahead became blind," he said.
"Rather than pull in Hirst attempted to overtake the Daihatsu."
While he did so a Ford Transit van appeared over the crest of a hill.
The Transit driver skidded to a halt and the Daihatsu driver slowed as Hirst attempted to squeeze between the two vehicles. He was unsuccessful though and his car was sandwiched between the two other vehicles.
He immediately left the car and said "It was totally my fault, I misjudged the overtake".
After police arrived they established Hirst only held a provisional driver's licence and has done so for 17 years. They also subsequently discovered he had lied to obtain car insurance.
Hirst pleaded guilty to charges of driving without a licence, making a false statement to obtain insurance and dangerous driving.
Hirst, who had no representation in court, was only spared a prison sentence after telling magistrates his wife and child would suffer as a result.
Presiding magistrate Ian Kingsbury said: "That really was a dangerous manouevre and warrants a 12-week custodial sentence.
"We are going to suspend that and will also impose a curfew between 9pm and 6am, which will last for two months."
Hirst was also ordered to pay £300 in compensation to the Transit and Daihatsu drivers, to cover the excess on their insurance, and was banned from driving for 12 months.
He must take an extended test to regain a licence.