A taxi driver who tried avoiding penalty points by falsely claiming his son was behind the wheel of his car was yesterday banned from driving for a year.
Swaran Singh’s vehicle was caught on camera twice last summer – for jumping red lights and for speeding – and on both occasions, Singh claimed it was his son and not he who was the driver.
As well as being banned from driving for 12 months, the 57-year old was also handed a six-month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years, after he admitted two counts of perverting the course of justice.
Singh, from Rowan Drive in Dunmurry, appeared at Belfast Crown Court, where a prosecuting barrister revealed the two offences were committed on June 24, 2018 and July 22, 2018 and were both detected by traffic cameras.
The prosecutor said Singh jumped a red light on York Street, and was caught speeding on the A2 Bangor Road. As a result of the offences, he was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution form, and on both occasions he ‘nominated’ his son as the vehicle’s driver.
Saying “this attempt to evade prosecution was very quickly detected”, the prosecutor said the truth emerged when footage was viewed, investigators attended Singh’s workplace, and when it emerged that Singh’s son had been in Dublin when the motoring offences occurred.
When Singh was arrested and interviewed, he made full admissions to police. When asked his reason for perverting the course of justice, the father of four said had already had six points on his licence at that point, and his insurance premium would increase.
A defence barrister said his client’s action were “clearly a very unsophisticated attempt at deceit” and pointed out he admitted his guilt at the first opportunity.
Judge David McFarland said he accepted that Singh acted out of “sheer panic” and tried to implicate his son as he would have accrued more penalty points, which would have led to a disqualification and an obvious impact on his livelihood as a taxi driver.