‘Deeply embarrassed’ warehouse worker who paid impersonator £800 to take his driving theory test after failing it 14 times is given a community order
- Mohammad Shoaib, 38, paid for two impersonators to take his theory for him
A warehouse worker who paid an impersonator £800 to take his driving theory test for him after failing it 14 times has been given a community order.
Mohammad Shoaib, 38, was was deeply embarrassed when he came to be known as the ‘fifth failure’ by colleagues and friends. He then went on to fail the test a further nine times.
Shoaib paid two impersonators almost 35 times the cost of a test to take his theory for him between 30 December 2021 and 5 January 2022.
He has admitted one count of supplying an article for use in fraud, namely his provisional licence.
Stephen Thomas, prosecuting, told City of London Magistrates’ Court: ‘Mr Shoaib provided a provisional driving licence to enable an impersonator to take his theory test on his behalf.
‘On 30 December 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 5 January 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.’
Shahzad Hussain, defending, said Shoaib was ‘very deeply embarrassed.’
‘He says: ‘When I took the test five times and failed I was devastated. I am very deeply embarrassed’.
‘He is a husband and father of two young children. Amongst his colleagues and friends he was known as a ‘fifth failure’ for failing five times.
‘He then failed a further nine times after this.
‘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.’
Mr Hussain confirmed that Shoaib will continue to take theory tests. In total Shoaib will have spent £345 to sit the tests.
To probation, Shoaib said: ‘I have disrespected the country I live in. I was desperate and foolish.’
Mr Thomas explained that had the fraud been a one-off they would not be seeking to prosecute.
He said: ‘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.
‘It’s motivated by personal gain.’
Shoaib, of Luton, was sentenced to a 12 month community order.
He will be subjected to a tagged curfew from 10am to 5pm starting tomorrow for one month.
He must also pay £230 in prosecution costs and a £114 victim surcharge.
Magistrate Chair Karen Forster said: ‘You pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity.’
‘You deeply regret this offence and have showed a lot of remorse’
‘If you do not pay you could be committing a further offence. Court fines are very important.’