A CONVICTED fraudster caught behind the wheel of his Audi A4 twice after he had been disqualified could be facing a prison sentence.

Andrew Ashton, who was handed a suspended sentence for a series of fraud offences at Southampton Crown Court, had been driving to see his 12-year-old daughter when he was arrested on November 23 2018.

He was also arrested for driving in June last year while his ban was in force.

Ashton, 55, admitted the charge when he appeared at Poole Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Richard Withey said: "The defendant was disqualified for six months at Weymouth Magistrates' Court on June 5.

"On October 10, he appeared at this court for driving while disqualified, and his ban was extended to nine months."

The defendant was stopped by two officers who had been on patrol in Drummond Road, Boscombe, where Ashton has a flat.

Ashton quickly admitted he was disqualified, the court heard. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for two years in September after he was convicted of a series of fraud offences related to his work as a tradesman.

The latest offence puts him in breach of the order, it was heard.

Harry Price Smith, mitigating, said: "Mr Ashton had a call from his 12-year-old daughter, who lives in Southampton, saying her mum and the mum's boyfriend were fighting.

"She asked him to drive and pick her up."

Believing his daughter was "potentially in danger", Ashton got into his Audi, Mr Price Smith said.

"In his haste, he made a decision to drive. He says it's what any parent would have done," the solicitor told the court.

Ashton is currently out of work as a result of his fraud convictions, but is due to begin employment as a plumber soon.

His previous conviction for driving while disqualified related to a misunderstanding of the period of his ban, Mr Price Smith said.

Magistrates committed the matter to Bournemouth Crown Court for a sentencing hearing in March.