A DRIVER who had no valid licence nearly mowed down a lollipop man as he was helping school children to cross the road.

Darren Burns, aged 39, of Shepherds Close, Droitwich, appeared before Worcester Magistrates where he was convicted of driving without an appropriate licence – he had an expired provisional licence, driving without insurance and driving without reasonable consideration for other road users. The court heard how the incident happened in Oldbury Road, St John’s, Worcester, on October 4 last year while Burns was driving his wife’s black Chrysler Grand Voyager.

Kate Price, prosecuting, said lollipop man Michael Dowling and Tracie Marlow-Jones and Sarah Smith, mothers of children at the local school, witnessed the incident.

Mr Dowling had his back towards Comer Road and was helping a group of children to cross when he heard someone shout in anger, Mrs Price said.

“The driver sped up the road and missed him by about six inches. Sarah Smith was with Tracie and they were helping their children to cross the road.

“She heard someone shout come on mate. She heard the wheels spin and saw Mr Dowling jump onto the pavement.”

Burns was arrested by police who discovered that he had an expired provisional driving licence and no insurance to drive the vehicle.

He told police that he had been attempting to put the car in first gear, but did not succeed, which caused the car to wheel spin and bunny hop along the road.

Brian O’Connell, defending, said Burns had not realised that his provisional licence had expired and said there were L-plates on the car.

“His wife was in the vehicle as well. He assumed he could drive with her insurance but, if you don’t have a licence, the whole thing falls flat. He apologises for his behaviour.”

Burns was fined £304 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

He was disqualified from driving for six months.