DISQUALIFIED DRIVER HIGH ON DRUGS AND WITH CHILD PASSENGER HANDED SUSPENDED SENTENCE

A disqualified driver who was found back behind the wheel with a cocktail of drugs in his system – and a 7-year-old child sat beside him – has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

35-year-old Joseph Hughes, of Clarence Road in Newport, appeared before Magistrates this morning (Friday) charged with driving whilst unfit through drugs, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

The court heard from crown prosecutor, Liz Miller, that Hughes had been sighted in Newport High Street by Police at around 17:00 on 16th July last year – the start of the busy evening rush hour. He was subsequently stopped on nearby Fairlee Road, although Magistrates heard that he failed to stop straight away.

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Hughes was confronted by officers who described him in their report as being unsteady on his feet, drowsy and disoriented. He was arrested on the spot.

Ms Miller detailed to the court the cocktail of drugs that were later detected in Joseph’s system, which included cocaine, morphine, ketamine, methadone, codeine and many others. Shockingly, the court also heard that Hughes had a female – his girlfriend – and a young child in the passenger seat of the Ford Transit van he was driving.

Hughes previously appeared in court in October 2020 when he was handed a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and a 12-month ban for aggravated vehicle taking and injury caused by accident, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance. It followed a serious crash on the outskirts of Godshill in April of that year which saw a Seat Ibiza burst into flames.

The 35-year-old had his suspended sentence activated last year and served time behind bars, but has since been released on licence.

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Hughes was initially banned from driving in February 2020 – just 2 months before the terrifying crash at Sandford.

Defending, Oscar Vincent said that his client is in a completely different situation now compared to July, when he was homeless, on drugs and depressed. At the time he was in a downward spiral emotionally following a relationship breakdown and not being able to see his children.

Mr Vincent said that Hughes is now in a positive relationship with a social worker and has full time work as a builder. He is also said to be seeking to purchase a house. Furthermore, the 35-year-old is said to be drug-free and on a reducing methadone script with support from Inclusion.

In their sentencing, Magistrates said that without a doubt the ‘very serious’ case had crossed the custody threshold, with the very high level of drugs, repeat offending and presence of a child passenger being aggravating factors.

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Magistrates sentenced Joseph Hughes to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. They also ordered him to pay £85 costs, a £128 surcharge and warned that if he was to appear back before the court his suspended sentence would be activated.

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bobthebuilder
bobthebuilder
4 months ago

that,ll show em…pathetic

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
4 months ago

so, as this idiot has never seen the actual inside of a jail cell and continues to drive irrespective of what is said, what fines are levied, what destruction he has already created, it is only a matter of time before someone dies as a result of his continued wreckless and self destructive behaviour.

when that eventually happens, I trust that those responsible for not locking him up for his own and the publics safety will be charged with wreckless endangerment of innocent road users lives, by allowing a known maniac to roam free.

Kelly A Woodeson-bell
Kelly A Woodeson-bell
Reply to  isle of wighter
4 months ago

Exactly

Ed Down
Ed Down
Reply to  isle of wighter
4 months ago

I can confirm he has seen the inside of a cell. He was inside for about ten minutes last year. Didn’t do him any good though he’s still not a very nice person. You know those people that are super nice to you until he doesn’t get his own way….. yeah he’s one of those.

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  Ed Down
4 months ago

comes as no surprise

Davimel
Davimel
Reply to  isle of wighter
4 months ago

I hope and pray that this man(?) never kills anyone, but if he does I hope all these Solicitors, getting rich off the weak excuses they are given, turn around and start proceedings against the Magistrates who keep letting him off!! It MUST be time for the worm to turn and those too weak to punish these constant law-breakers should be made to pay for THEIR failures just as every working Man and Woman does in every day life!

Lover of life
Lover of life
4 months ago

WTF a child in the car too? We all have our problems he’s not the only one?? But to behave like this, he is an absolute disgrace.
What is going on? He’s got off lucky he didn’t kill someone, or is that what it takes for him to be put in prison? Excuses excuses excuses!

Wolf
Wolf
4 months ago

Should be in prison endangering a child’s life,let alone any one else is not acceptable

Bansko
Bansko
4 months ago

I am SO stunned by this Court action I can barely comment. What is going on these days with our judicial system? I don’t know where to start – SO MANY drugs in system; SO MANY laws broken; by lucky chance no deaths occurred. That’s just for a start!! Was the girlfriend charged because she SHOULD have been as no doubt would have been aware of the state he was in. Fine if she wishes to endanger her life but she was willingly a passenger and knowing she was endangering an innocent child’s life. Just appalling in every way. I despair. Reading news like this really upsets me 🙁

Disillusioned
Disillusioned
4 months ago

A suspended prison sentence – twice. What does it actually take to get a scumbag like this locked up? Seemingly, to commit another offence for a third time! It does sound like someone will be killed before this sad waste of space ends up in prison. Many thanks to our wonderful justice system for NOT protecting innocent, decent people from this low life by putting him behind bars where he belongs.

Reg Dennis
Reg Dennis
4 months ago

What more has this waste of oxygen got to do to be put where it belongs, in prison, the pathetic “sentences” our magistrates give out are a sick joke.
It should have been jailed and given a lifetime driving ban as it is a menace to the public and thinks it is ok to put a childs life at risk.

Sunshine
Sunshine
Reply to  Reg Dennis
4 months ago

I totally agree. It’s a disgrace. No deterrent for people like this. The Magistrate who dealt with this idiot so leniently, should be put under question. It’s just not right.

Sunshine
Sunshine
4 months ago

Bloody hell. What does this idiot have to do to get given a custodial sentence, kill someone?
Isle of Wight Magistrates, you are pathetic. With the cocktail of drugs he had in his body, he could have quite easily killed some poor innocent person, including the poor 7 year old child sitting next to him in the van. The girl friend is old enough to know better, or she should!
There really is no deterrent for this type of behaviour because the Magistrates and Judges let the low life off too easily.
He should have been sent to prison and had his license taken away for 5 years.

oldbutalive
oldbutalive
4 months ago

Just unbelievable and i fully agree with all the comments.
What do you have to do to get a prison sentence?

Martin Shoebridge
Martin Shoebridge
4 months ago

What is the point of giving magistrates the power to sentence up to 1 yr in jail when they don’t have the balls to act on a previous suspended sentence? Why hasn’t the sentence been challenged as being too lenient?

plato
plato
4 months ago

What is the point of having any laws and a judiciary? No matter how many serious laws are broken there are seemingly zero consequences. Pointless and pathetic.

fred
fred
4 months ago

“Magistrates said that without a doubt the ‘very serious’ case had crossed the custody threshold”
But they let him go.

DickyDaniels
DickyDaniels
4 months ago

We have quangos checking performance of teachers and hospitals etc. Time to do same with judges, who give soft sentences. Unless it affects them or MPs.

Martin Shoebridge
Martin Shoebridge
Reply to  DickyDaniels
4 months ago

Judges are monitored for their performance. Not sure about magistrates….

Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
4 months ago

Typical judges. A suspended sentence indeed.

Paul
Paul
4 months ago

It really is time that the magistrates that are leaving scum like this to endanger all our lives are not only sacked but thrown in jail themselves for endangering the public. They are a disgrace to the judicial system.

 

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