Poverty plea ignored over drink-driving

A VAN man pleaded poverty when he was convicted of drink-driving with no insurance.

Audrius Valentonis claimed he’d lost his job with a clothing collection charity and was living off his savings.

The Lithuanian said he was relying on the cash to see him through until he got a job.

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But on being told of the cash hoard, Sheriff Martin Edington gave the first offender just 28 days to pay a £635 fine and banned him driving for a year.

Valentonis, 25, from Livingston, West Lothian, pleaded guilty at Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday to being more than twice the limit when he was caught driving without insurance.

John Barclay, prosecuting, said police had stopped his Ford Transit in Livingston just before midnight on February 14.

Mr Barclay said: “He didn’t have permission to use the van outwith his employment – that’s why the insurance wasn’t valid.”