Man sentenced for paying impersonator £800 for taking driving theory test
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A man resorted to desperate measures to pass his driving theory test after 14 failed attempts and it has led to dire consequences.
Mohammad Shoaib, 38, from Luton, paid an impersonator £800 to take the test for him but he was caught red handed.
The 38-year-old aspiring driver was given the nickname ‘fifth failure’ by colleagues and friends because he couldn’t crack the driving theory test.
In an illegal attempt to get himself on the road, he paid two impersonators almost 35 times the cost of the test to take the theory test on his behalf between 30 December, 2021 and 5 January, 2022.
While the first impersonator was caught and barred from taking the exam in Sidcup, south-east London, the second was able to pass the test in Southampton.
"Mr Shoaib provided a provisional driving licence to enable an impersonator to take his theory test on his behalf,” Stephen Thomas, prosecuting, told City of London Magistrates' Court.
“On December 30 the impersonator attended the Sidcup theory test centre, but staff at the theory centre were not satisfied with the licence and the man was refused to take the test.
“On January 5 another impersonator attended a Southampton test centre, so quite some distance away.
“On both occasions they were using Mr Shoaib's licence. On this occasion that person was allowed in and passed their test.
“It should be noted for the record that when it came to pass, the theory pass was automatically disqualified and he didn't go on to take his practical.
“Mr Shoaib attended for interview and admitted paying the sum of £800 to an unknown man for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining a theory pass.
“He made numerous attempts to pass and had kept failing when he was approached by a person who knew he had issues and offered to take the test for him. He asked for £800 and a licence to be sent to him.”
He continued: "If this was just a one-off we wouldn't prosecute, but it happened twice.
“Also the other element of this is; this is all done by organised crime. There is organised crime behind it which is why we prosecute these cases.”
Shahzad Hussain, who defended Shoaib, said the court case has had a huge impact on the learner driver. “He works six days a week in a warehouse and he has not slept since these proceedings and is extremely anxious.
“This was an opportunity that arose and he paid for it.”
Hussain confirmed that Shoaib, who has been sentenced to a 12-month community order, will continue to take theory tests.
Not only will he have to follow a tagged curfew from 10am to 5pm for a month starting on Thursday (30 March) - which should give him time to study the Highway Code - he must also pay £230 in prosecution costs and a £114 victim surcharge. He 'took the L' and admitted to one count of supplying an article for use in fraud for his dodgy provisional license.