A FATHER-of-eight who was caught driving without a valid licence claimed he did not know it had expired.

Dean Russell, aged 40, pleaded guilty to driving his Ford Galaxy without insurance or a valid licence in Deansway, Worcester.

Worcester Magistrates Court said many drivers are unaware that they have to renew their licence every 10 years, in response to Russell's case.

Russell, who was defending himself, said: "I didn't know my licence hadn't been renewed.

"Apparently it's a very thin line as to whether it's breaking the law or not.

"I've never driven without insurance [before]. I never would.

"We have got eight children, it has cost us quite a bit of inconvenience. We had to pay £170 to get the car out of the compound."

Russell, of Carrock Fell, Worcester, said his partner rang Tesco to insure the vehicle after they bought it.

He claimed the company told her she could save £125 by confirming the policy online, however she forgot to do this.

The chair of the magistrates' bench said: "A lot of people don't know about having to renew their driving licence every 10 years. But it has to be done."

Shafquat Reaz, prosecuting, said officers first spotted Russell's vehicle when they were parked up near Deansway, Worcester, on February 24.

Mr Reaz added: "The car pulled alongside and it was noted that the driver didn't have his seatbelt on. He was asked to put it on and went on his way."

Officers later encountered the same vehicle and discovered that it was not insured, after checking the Police National Computer.

Worcester Magistrates Court told Russell to pay a £100 fine, £135 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge on March 14.

It also added six points to his licence.