Father-of-two avoids Christmas behind bars after using false name for insurance while disqualified

Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

A father-of-two from Ipswich has narrowly avoided spending Christmas behind bars after using false details to obtain insurance despite being banned from driving.

Ionut Gheorghita, 26, of Thebe Close, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich on Tuesday, pleading guilty to driving while disqualified, obstructing a constable in the execution of their duty, driving without insurance and making a false statement to obtain insurance.

Prosecuting, Ian Devine said Gheorghita had been banned from driving for 12 months on March 8, 2019, having previously been disqualified in 2017 for totting up too many points on his licence.

He said: "He then applied online for an insurance card.

"He used false details in the sense of using a different name and date of birth but he used his own email."

He said on April 4, Gheorghita was stopped by police driving an Audi A3 on London Road in Ipswich.

Mr Devine said: "When he was initially spoken to by police he gave the false details on the insurance cover.

"But enquiries revealed he was not that gentleman.

"Having been disqualified from driving, this obviously stops him from having insurance cover."

Magistrates warned Gheorghita that the matters were so serious they were considering sending him to prison, meaning he would spend his Christmas behind bars and away from his family.

They asked for a report from the probation service to consider all options for sentencing.

In mitigation, Andrew Cleal said Gheorghita, a Romanian national, had been living in the UK for the last five years and that his family, including two young children, had come to join him in September this year.

"This will be their first Christmas together," he said. "A prison sentence would be very traumatic for the children."

He argued a suspended sentence was the appropriate punishment as "having that hanging over his head would help motivate his behaviour."

"I don't think he is going to take that risk again," he said.

Magistrates handed Gheorghita a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

He must also complete 40 hours of unpaid work, 15 days of rehabilitation activity and was banned from driving for a further 18 months. He must also pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

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