A DISQUALIFIED driver gave a false name to the police after being found giving his girlfriend an ill-advised lift home.

Craig Swaep flouted his ban by getting behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta to pick up his partner from Colchester town centre after she finished work.

But as he was heading back, he headed down Hythe Hill where police were attending a crash.

Swaep swung the car round and drove away quickly, which made officers suspicious.

They caught up with him and pulled him over.

Swaep, 33, initially said his name was Mark Daniel, but soon confessed that he had given false details.

It quickly emerged he should not have been driving.

He admitted driving while disqualified and without insurance and resisting arrest. He also admitted breaching a suspended sentence he had been given in Norwich for possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Donal Lawler, mitigating at Chelmsford Crown Court, said: “He felt it inappropriate to leave her when she asked.

“He made a rash decision and thought he was doing her a favour at the time.”

Mr Lawler said Swaep had been working as a tree surgeon until January when he had an accident and fractured his skull.

He has been fit and able to work since March, but the Covid-19 pandemic has meant his employment is on hold.

Judge Patricia Lynch QC said she would take a pragmatic approach to sentencing given that his driving ban and suspended sentence order were nearly up by the time Swaep, of Iceni Way, Colchester, got behind the wheel in November last year.

“As far as you are concerned, this was stupid,” she said.

“You have a chequered history of previous offending, and even though driving while disqualified is serious this is certainly at the bottom of the range.”

Swaep was given a four-week prison term, suspended for six months, fined £25 and given six penalty points on his driving licence.