Belfast Telegraph

L-test cheats have jail terms cut

By Alan Erwin

Two brothers jailed over a plot to fraudulently sit the driving theory test will serve reduced sentences, the Court of Appeal ruled.



Senior judges cut Terence Stokes' jail term from nine to six months, and Michael Stokes' sentence from six to four months.

Counsel for the pair, both from Londonderry, had argued that the original punishments imposed on them were manifestly excessive.

In the first case of its kind in Northern Ireland, Terence Stokes (24) impersonated his brother Michael (28) to sit the theory exam. He left the test centre in August 2009 after suspicions were raised about his identification.

Terence Stokes, of Glenvale Gardens, and Michael Stokes, of Chapel Road, were jailed in October after admitting conspiracy to make false representation.

Appealing against the sentences, barrister Martin McCann said the scam was motivated by Michael's anxiety at sitting the test due to his literacy problems.

Terence offered to undergo it on his behalf in an act of “brotherly support” having been successful.

After the scam Michael Stokes actually sat and passed the exam.

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