A Romanian national admitted paying someone £500 to sit the UK driving theory test for him.
Cristi Ciobica received a six month suspended sentence and was ordered to carry out work in the community, when he appeared at Reading Crown Court.
The 33-year-old was caught out by a Driving Standards Agency (DSA) investigation following a spate of similar incidents at the Reading driving test centre.
Jane Davies, prosecuting, said the same person had tried to sit the test for four people.
The impersonator turned up at the centre in Elgar Road South on behalf of Ciobica on July 7, 2012, but a member of staff refused him because he did not look like the person pictured on the provisional driving licence he produced.
The licence belonged to Ciobica who was later arrested, but the imposter has still not been caught.
A search of Ciobica’s house produced a Halifax debit card used to pay for the driving theory test and the provisional licence, which had been presented and copied at the centre.
Miss Davies said: “When he was interviewed he produced a prepared statement saying he had lost his wallet in June last year, and he had reported the loss of his card and driving licence to the DVLA but had not ordered a replacement driving licence.”
However, she said the DVLA had no record of the loss being reported and the licence was found at his home in Camrose Avenue, Edgware.
Ciobica was arrested and charged with fraud, which he later admitted at Reading magistrates who sent the case to Crown Court for sentencing. On Tuesday, April 16, the court heard Ciobica had received a 34-week jail sentence suspended for 18 months and 200 hours community service in 2008 for his role in a cash machine fraud.
Barry Myers, defending, said his client had gone back to Romania, taken the driving test and had now obtained a licence which can be used in the UK.
Sentencing, Judge Stephen John said Ciobica could have ended up with a full driving licence as a result of his fraud.
He said: “You would have done so without having satisfied the authorities you understand the rules of the road in this country sufficiently well. That really is the seriousness of this offence because it potentially would have put the public at risk of you causing an accident because of your inadequate knowledge of signing and driving in this country.”
Judge John said he believed an immediate jail sentence could be avoided because Ciobica had completed all the requirement of his 2008 sentence, had now legally obtained a driving licence, he was in regular employment and he had pleaded guilty.
He sentenced Ciobica to six months’ jail suspended for 18 months with a requirement to carry out 200 hours unpaid work in 12 months. He was also ordered to pay £340 court costs.
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