A DUDLEY man has been banned from driving for the ninth time after a court heard he had 73 offences on his record.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court Shane O'Rourke was also jailed for six months after being caught driving while disqualified.

The judge told 26-year-old O'Rourke he regarded time behind bars as no more than a hiccup to his criminal driving career.

Judge Mark Eades said: "Here we are again, it has become routine hasn't it? You come out of prison, do it again and so it goes on and on and on."

The judge concluded it was clear O'Rourke felt prison sentences were not a deterrent, he added: "One day I hope you will give up because this is not the way to lead your life. If you had crashed that car the other driver would have had to pick up the bill. You have got to think a bit more about the consequences and the risk you are to other people."

He told O'Rourke, who has never held a driving licence: "You should be ashamed of yourself although I suspect you are not."

Alka Brigue, prosecuting, said O'Rourke was spotted behind the wheel of a car in Brierley Hill town centre by police officers who knew he was banned from the roads.

She said O'Rourke then reversed backwards onto the wrong side of the road before speeding away through traffic lights on red at the busy junction of Moor Street and High Street.

He was arrested two days later, he told police he drove off because he realised he had been recognised by the officers and he did not want to lose his vehicle.

The Vauxhall was sold the following day to a scrap dealer for £150 after being abandoned on the car park of the Saltwells pub by O'Rourke, said Mrs Brigue.

O'Rourke, of Blackacre Road, Dudley, admitted driving dangerously, while disqualified and without insurance and he was further disqualified from driving for another two years.

Simon Hanns, for O'Rourke, said his client accepted he was going back to prison and he had come to the crown court prepared to be jailed.

Mr Hanns added: "He was on the way at the time to sell the Vauxhall, in fact it went the next day. He accepts his criminal record is an aggravating feature of the case."