A FARMER'S extensive mitigation in hoping to avoid a driving ban has fallen on deaf ears.

Appearing before Truro magistrates on Monday, Ross Withers pleaded guilty to driving whilst using a mobile phone.

He had previously denied the offence, but changed his plea on the scheduled day of the trial.

The 42 year-old, of Higher Tresawle Farm, Probus, was represented by Mark Charnley in court.

He explained that if Withers lost his licence, his wife would have to give up her job in order to take their children to school.

He said that would mean reduction in the household income to such an extent that he could lose his farm.

Mr Charnley added that the defendant also has the responsibility of caring for his elderly and infirm parents, who would suffer through lack of care if he was unable to tend to their needs and take them to and from medical appointments.

He would suffer, as he would not be able to get to and from his weekly spinal treatment.

He would also lose income because he would not be able to honour the contracts he has affected for pig roasts. In addition, those with whom he has contracted for the pig roasts would lose out on their arrangements, as there would be no-one else to do what the defendant has contracted to do at short notice.

He would also lose a substantial income by being unable to attend the weekly cattle markets all around the country.

Magistrates reduced the disqualification given the mitigating circumstances, banning him for 28 days due to repeat offending.

He was fined £112 and ordered to pay £400 costs and £30 victim surcharge.