A banned driver dialled into his court hearing – with his top off.

District Judge Kamlesh Rana refused to deal with Charles Benfield while he was still partly in the buff, telling the half-clothed defendant: “Are you able to get up and get dressed?

“I’m not going to deal with you if you haven’t got a shirt on.”

Benfield, who appeared to have called into the court’s video system while in bed, put down his phone and the sound of a zipper could be heard. “Sorry about that,” he told the judge after he reappeared on the video screen – now wearing a black top.

READ MORE: Latest cases from Oxford Magistrates' Court

Oxford Magistrates’ Court was told that 43-year-old Benfield was behind the wheel of a tipper truck in Pioneer Way, Bicester, on December 3 last year when police officers on patrol recognised him as the driver.

Knowing he was banned from driving, the officers followed Benfield's van then pulled it over.

Benfield, who had a passenger in the truck, tested positive at the roadside for cocaine.

He was taken to Abingdon police station and gave a blood sample, which showed he had cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine in his system.

The defendant, of Mawle Court, Banbury, pleaded guilty to drug driving, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

Bailing him to return to court for sentence on August 3, District Judge Rana warned Benfield: “You’re at serious risk of going to prison.”

It was not explained in open court why Benfield appeared over the video link. 

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward