A MAN who was banned from driving in his absence claimed he didn't know about the ban when he was caught behind the wheel.

Blackburn magistrates heard the same excuse wasn't available to Piotr Marcin Kaminski when he was stopped again two weeks later.

Kaminski, 40, of Swallow Park, Burnley, pleaded guilty to two charges of driving while disqualified and without insurance. He was sentenced to eight weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, made subject to a community order for 12 months with 15 days rehabilitation activity requirement and banned from driving for two years. He was ordered to pay £85 costs and £34 victim surcharge.

Passing sentence the chairman of the magistrates referred to the defendant's extensive record of driving related convictions and described him as a "serial offender."

"You were banned in February, have two offences of driving while disqualified and you have never held a licence," he said.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said Kaminski was disqualified for two years in February when he was not present in court.

He was stopped in May and it was explained to him that he was disqualified.

Aftab Bakhat, defending, said his client had been unaware of the ban when he was stopped for the first time but had no excuse the second time.

"He had been let down by someone who was working for him in his body repair business," said Mr Bakhat

"He needed some materials, which the other man would normally have collected, and made the short journey to collect them. The reality is there are no excuses."