Private hire driver handed suspended prison sentence for getting his son to take the blame for speed

A Belfast private hire driver has been handed a two year suspended prison sentence for falsely claiming his son was behind the wheel of his vehicle to avoid points on his licence.  Road traffic cameras caught Swaran Singh's car jumping red lights and speeding on 24 June 2018 and 22 July 2018. 

To avoid the fines and having points issued to his licence, Singh got his son to falsely admit to driving the car at the time of the offences.  The 57-year old appeared at Belfast Crown Court where he was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years.

Singh admitted two counts of perverting the course of justice. The court heard how Singh was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution form following the offences and on both occasions he nominated his son as the vehicle's driver. Singh was soon caught red-faced, when investigators looked into his claims. It emerged his son wasn't even in the country at the times of the offences and along with footage that was viewed, it became clear he was lying. 

As reported on Irish News, once arrested and interviewed, Singh admitted the false claims, saying he chose to do so because he already had six points on his licence and his insurance premium would increase. The court heard Singh was quick to admit his wrongdoing and has since understood the seriousness of his actions which he now fully regrets. 

Singh's defense barrister explained to the court, his client, originally from India, came to Belfast in 2011. The father of four panicked when realising he would likely serve a ban and with that his livelihood.  Judge David McFarland said he accepted that Singh acted out of "sheer panic" and made his choice out of fear of disqualification.  Judge McFarland sentenced Singh to six months in prison, suspended for two years and banned him from driving for one year.

Image: Source; Geograph 

Image: Author; Robert Struthers
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