A MAN who got behind the wheel of his car "to clear his head" has been jailed for driving while disqualified.

Ryan Albert Fitzgibbons, 33, of Norley Avenue, Eastham, was stopped by police on Welsh Road, Hooton on December 13, 2019, having gone for a walk around a fishing lake in Mollington, near Chester.

Fitzgibbons had previously pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and riving without insurance.

Appearing at Chester Magistrates Court on Friday, July 24, Fitzgibbons was jailed for 10 weeks, having breached a suspended jail sentence.

Prosecuting, Debbie Byrne said police had information that Fitzgibbons, spotted in his blue Ford Focus, was a disqualified driver.

The ban had been imposed on November 2019 and was due to last until November 2020.

After being stopped, Fitzgibbons was interviewed at the roadside and confirmed he was a disqualified driver and was "fully aware he should not have been driving".

He had 16 convictions for 28 previous offences. The driving ban in November 2019 had come after Fitzgibbons was convicted of drink-driving.

Defending, Simon Simmons said Fitzgibbons was aware of the possibility he could face jail and had prepared for it by bringing a bag with him to court.

At the time of the offence, Fitzgibbons had been left from work for the Christmas period, he thought permanently, and had gone for a drive "to clear his head" to the fishing lake.

He went to the lake, walked around it, and drove back, but was stopped by police en route. He was fully co-operative with them at the roadside.

He had anxiety and depression but had taken up meditation earlier this year which had helped him with mental health issues.

Two letters were read out by Mr Simmons to the court from Fitzgibbons's parents, both detailing how the defendant had looked after them them with their current medical issues.

Magistrates jailed Fitzgibbons for 10 weeks and disqualified him from driving for 18 months from the day he leaves prison.

Chair of magistrates Dr Gwyneth Edwards told him: "It's a very serious offence to drive while disqualified, and you know that now."

Fitzgibbons must also pay a £122 victim surcharge.