A DISQUALIFIED South Ayrshire driver who was caught behind the wheel twice – just a few weeks before his ban was due to end – has been jailed after being branded ‘stupid’ by a judge.

Gary Dempster was stopped by police on two occasions seven days apart last month – having been banned for a year in June 2022.

The 38-year-old was slammed by a sheriff for showing “a total disregard” for the court’s orders.

The procurator discal depute told a hearing at Ayr Sheriff Court: "On June 9 police officers were on mobile patrol in Ayr town centre.

"They stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver. They carried out checks on the driver and found he was disqualified in June 2022. 

"They found he was required to take an extended driving test and had no current insurance policy.

"On June 16, at 8.55am, police observed the vehicle on Montgomerie Street, Tarbolton. They spoke to the accused, who was taking his children to school. 

"Checks showed he was disqualified."

Dempster was previously put on a community payback order (CPO) for shouting and swearing at his former partner at his address in Springfield Road, Tarbolton on September 26, 2021.

He was also found with a lockback knife on a footpath near the property.

Court papers stated that in an incident at the same address on December 16, 2021, Dempster had acted in an aggressive manner towards the same woman and had refused to leave when asked.

He attended the house uninvited, repeatedly struck doors with his hand, shouted and swore, and threatened to damage items belonging to his ex if he wasn’t allowed in.

Both of the threatening behaviour charges were aggravated because they involved abuse of a former partner.

At last week’s court hearing, defence solicitor Ian Gillies said: "There is very little I can add. Mr Dempster took the risk and drove when knew he was disqualified.

"I don't think he realised how serious this matter was."

Sheriff Desmond Leslie told Dempster: "You have a sizeable criminal record. You have been given chance after chance and you have ignored that.

"You were aware of orders not to drive. It’s an order of the court. You knew fine well what you were doing. Your history tells me that.

"You have shown a total disregard to the orders of this court. This has to be punished."

Dempster was jailed for six months in total, backdated to the date he was originally remanded.

His CPO for the first of the 2021 incidents was revoked and he will be sentenced anew on that matter later in the year.

He was also banned from driving for another 12 months on each charge – though those bans will run concurrently, meaning he will be able to drive again in July 2024.

Sheriff Leslie added: "Your disqualification was due to expire. How stupid can you be?”