A DISQUALIFIED driver caught behind the wheel three times in as many months told police he was addicted to driving and wouldn't stop.

Blackburn magistrates heard when he appeared in court for the third offence he was remanded in custody for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

And the court was told his first spell behind bars had persuaded Christopher Higham to take a different view.

Higham, 32, of Alma Street, Bacup, pleaded guilty to three charges of driving while disqualified and three of driving without insurance.

He was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months and made subject to a community order for 12 months with a 19 day thinking skills programme and 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

The chairman of the magistrates said Higham's behaviour crossed the custody threshold and he deserved to go to prison.

"However, we have decided to go along with the recommendation of the Probation Service and suspend that sentence," he said.

"If you do anything like this again there will be no more chances."

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said Higham was stopped in February on Alma Street, Bacup.

He was seen by the same officer driving on Newchurch Road and arrested at his home shortly after.

He told officers he thought he had some kind of illness for driving. When he was caught for the third time he said he thought he was addicted to driving and that he wouldn't stop.

Christine Johnston, defending, said Higham had been remanded in custody since June 12 awaiting sentence.

"That has given him time to reflect and consider the position he has put himself in and the impact on members of the public and his immediate family," said Miss Johnston.

"The period in custody has had a genuine impact on him."