A GRIEF-stricken dad mourning the tragic death of his baby son who drowned in the bath has been jailed for driving while disqualified.

A court heard Mark Benjamin Cradock could not explain why he drove his car after fixing it with number plates which reflected the boy's initials.

Blackburn magistrates heard company director Cradock was banned from driving and subject to a suspended prison sentence imposed for drink-driving.

Cradock, 35, of Monk Street, Clitheroe, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified.

Two months of the suspended jail sentence was activated and he was sentenced to a further four months for the latest offence. He was banned from driving for 20 months and ordered to pay £115 compensation.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Cradock had two previous convictions for drink-driving and three for disqualified driving.

The latest was in February when he was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for 12 months and banned from driving for 12 months.

Miss Allan said police received information that Cradock was driving and found him behind the wheel of his Land Rover Defender on the M65. When he was stopped Cradock admitted he knew he was disqualified.

Imran Hussain, defending, said that in early summer his client's eight-month-old son Joseph had died in the bath and since then he had tried to take his own life on four separate occasions.

"He is under the care of the mental health crisis team and has an appointment with a psychiatrist on Friday," said Mr Hussain.

He said Cradock had purchased a number plate for the Land Rover which contained his late son's initials.

"He was overcome with emotion and this was not an ordinary journey," said Mr Hussain.

"He just got in the car and drove and he doesn't know why.

"He accepts that what he did was wrong."

Mr Hussain said Cradock had his own company employing 20 people.

"The tragedy that befell him in the summer is not an excuse but you are entitled to know all the circumstances," said Mr Hussain.

An inquest in November heard that Joseph drowned in the bath on May 28 after coming out of his seat.

He was found face-down in the water after his mum, Sophie Henry, briefly went out onto the landing to get her nightdress.

Detective Inspector Warren Atkinson, who investigated Joseph’s death, said tests on the baby seat revealed that it had been properly secured in the bath, but added that when water was in the tub the suckers came away easily.

He added: “It was clear he was a much-loved baby and that he was growing up in a warm, homely environment.”

At the time Cradock also paid tribute to his ‘perfect little boy’. He said: “To me and Sophie, he was the most perfect little boy in the world. He was so loved by his mummy and daddy, his brothers and all of his friends and family.

“This was a horrible accident and the loss of him in our lives will never become easier. I plead that people reading this will just stop and think when they have their children around water."