A DRIVER has been jailed for pretending to be his cousin when he was stopped by police in Newton Abbot for using a hand-held mobile phone.
Daniel Clarke had no licence or insurance and gave the name, date of birth and address of his cousin, Luke Ngwenya-Irons, when he was pulled over near Newton Abbot.
He is five years younger than him but they look very similar and he was living with him at the time, which enabled him to intercept the summons when it arrived.
Clarke intercepted it and did not tell his cousin, with the result that he was fined and given six points on his licence in a court case which he knew nothing about.
He also picked up the letter from the court before his cousin saw it and even paid the fine on his behalf without him knowing.
The truth only emerged months later when Mr Irons was notified about the points on his licence and appealed against them on the grounds that he did not own the BMW and had not been driving it.
Clarke eventually went to the police and confessed when he realised that his deception had gone too far, Exeter Crown Court was told.
The 23-year-old from Orient Road in Paignton, admitted perverting the course of justice and was jailed for six months by Judge Peter Johnson and banned from driving for six months after his release.
He told him: ‘Your cousin was not only convicted but had points put on his licence and was fined. You paid that fine and continued the pretence but to your credit, you eventually came clean and contacted the police.’
Mr Tom Bradnock, prosecuting, said Clarke was stopped driving a BMW on the A380 in South Devon on June 16, 2020, and gave the details of 28-year-old Mr Irons.
He was fined £220 and given six points on his licence by magistrates but remained unaware of the whole case because Clarke intercepted his mail and paid the fine. He confessed when he learned Mr Irons had lodged an appeal against the points.
Mr Paul Dentith, defending, said Clarke’s life had changed a great deal since 2020 and he now has a job, a stable address, and has become a father.
He said: ‘He gave a false name at the roadside and it spiralled out of control and he thought that putting it right would make things worse. He now realises it was wrong and he should have confessed earlier.’