School bus driver banned for a year.
Monday 9th June 2014 @ 08:03 by Anna Fletcher

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A mini bus driver was caught taking disabled children to school while serving a ban for drunken driving.

Darren Chalmers, 27, from Stalybridge, was stopped when he pulled up outside Piper Hill Specialist Support School in Wythenshawe in March.

His bus was packed with children and it was discovered that he was not insured because of the drink drive ban, Manchester City magistrates were told.

Police had been carrying out Operation Coachman to root out dodgy drivers.

Chalmers, who had been working as a freelance driver, of Harrison Street, admitted charges of driving when disqualified and having no insurance.

The court banned him for a year, ordered him to carry out 160 hours unpaid work to run consecutively with 120 hours he is already

It was claimed by the defence that Chalmers hadn’t been sure of the “precise conditions” of his ban.

Court Chairman Mr Peter O’Keefe said: “There are a number of aggravating features over what you have done. The redeeming part is that you were willing to work to support your family.

“But it was a serious offence because you were driving a bus carrying disabled children and your insurance was invalid and their
futures could have been at risk if you had had an accident.”

He was also made to pay £85 court costs and a £60 surcharge.
David Philpott, defending, said the firm Chalmers worked for had faith in him and would re-employ him after he had served his driving ban.