Parking up for a Christmas Eve nap led to a Trecwn man being sent to prison for his sixth disqualified driver offence.

Scott John Cowdery, of Wesley Place, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and without third-party insurance when he appeared at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Tuesday, January 7.

The court heard that an off-duty police officer spotted Cowdery’s Ford Fiesta blocking a slip road in Withybush retail park at 8.30am on Christmas Eve.

Prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard-Jones said: “The defendant was fast asleep in the driver’s seat. The vehicle was still running but the defendant appeared to have slumped forward and was fast asleep.”

The officer took the key out of the ignition, woke Cowdery up and called an on-duty colleague.

He took his key back and drove off before the other officer arrived, but was found parked in the car park of a pub off the A40, asleep in the driver’s seat again.

The car’s lights were on and the engine was still running. Cowdery, 27, told police he had spend the previous night with his girlfriend and headed home in the morning, but pulled into the retail park because he was tired after working long hours.

The bench heard that Cowdery had an ‘appalling record’ of driving offences, and this was his sixth disqualified driver offence.

Mark Layton, defending, said Cowdery had a month and a half left of his disqualification when he committed the offence, and obtained the vehicle because he was aware the ban was coming to an end.

“There was no evidence of bad driving. He stopped to sleep because he felt tired.”

Magistrates sentenced Cowdery to 12 weeks in prison and ordered him to pay £205 in costs and a surcharge.

He was banned from driving for 14 months.

The chairman of the bench said: “You were driving on a very busy day. You were very lucky that the circumstances were not a lot more grave.”