Chitty Chitty Bang Bang actress HEATHER RIPLEY escaped a sentence for driving without a valid license - because the sheriff made a mistake. The former child star, now 46, was first given a twelve-month ban in a Perth, Scotland court on 11 January (06), despite claiming her license application was lost in the post. But Sheriff ROBERT MCCREADIE then admitted it wasn't in his power to impose the ban and instead gave her four penalty points and a fine of $300 (GBP175). Ripley then appealed against the revised decision and judges ruled the sheriff did not have the right to serve either the points or the fine. The actress' points were removed and the fine reduced to $170 (GBP100). The court heard that at the time of being stopped for routine checks, Ripley already had six points on her license. Her lawyer, MIKE TAVENDALE, said that Ripley was now unemployed and living on state benefits.