Covid-19 was the spark which re-ignited a man’s drug use, a court heard.
Due to the pandemic Adrian White lost his employment and accommodation.
After sleeping his car in the Bristol area he resumed the drug taking which he had managed to avoid for almost 20 years.
And it resulted in him committing driving offences in August and September last year.
White, 44, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to a drug driving offence in September, for which he was handed a community order.
Today (August 31, 2021) he appeared at Bristol Crown Court having pleaded guilty to dangerous driving in August.
Judge Euan Ambrose handed him a 16 weeks jail term suspended for 12 months.
He told White: “You managed to get clean and stayed out of trouble for a long time.
“With Covid you lost your job, you lost your accommodation, you were living in your car, you relapsed into drug use and your mental health declined.”
White was handed 20 days’ rehabilitation and was banned from driving for two years.
He will have to pass an extended driving test to drive again.
Robert Yates, prosecuting, said police stopped White on Fishponds Road after seeing he had no front number plate on his Vauxhall Astra.
But before a conversation about putting it right concluded, White drove off and turned sharp left through a “no entry” sign.
The court heard that, after narrowly missing a road user, White continued at such a high speed that police abandoned their pursuit due to safety concerns.
Officers then found the Astra abandoned and then found White.
He initially denied any wrongdoing.
Nicholas Lee, defending, said Covid had such knock-on effects for White that he “became directionless” and resumed drug taking.
White had also suffered the bereavement of his mum and brother, Mr Lee said, but had not re-offended and wanted to address substance issues.
The court heard White had been anxious when police spoke to him and wanted to get away
White told the judge: “I made a terrible decision, I wouldn’t want to hurt no-one.”