Driver test scam brothers jailed
Two brothers who admitted their involvement in trying to fraudulently sit the driving theory test at a driving assessment centre just over two years ago, were jailed yesterday.
Terence Stokes (24), from Glenvale Gardens, Glengalliagh in Londonderry, was jailed for nine months.
His brother Michael Stokes (28), from Chapel Road in the Waterside area of the city, was given a six-month sentence.
In the first prosecution of its kind in Northern Ireland, Terence Stokes pleaded guilty to conspiring with his brother Michael to sit the theory test on his behalf.
Michael Stokes admitted aiding and abetting Terence Stokes to impersonate him during the driving theory test.
The offences occurred between August 3 and August 26, 2009.
Terence Stokes’ defence barrister Neil Rafferty told Judge Piers Grant that what inspired the offences was Michael Stoke's literacy problems. He said the irony was that people with literacy problems were catered for while sitting the theory test.
Mr Rafferty revealed that Michael Stokes actually sat the test six months later and passed.
The lawyer said Terence Stokes didn't sit the test on the date of the offence but left the centre several minutes after he'd applied to sit the test.
Eoghan Devlin, defence |barrister for Michael Stokes, said it was “a hare-brained scheme hatched by two brothers in a bid to gain a licence by a short cut”.
He described the attempt as “a fool's errand”.
Jailing the brothers, Judge Grant said it was “a premeditated and pre-planned attempt which had it succeeded would have seriously undermined public confidence in the licensing system”.
He said both brothers had “extensive criminal records” for motoring offences and for dishonesty and it was appropriate to mark the seriousness of the offences by sending both of them to jail.