Derry brothers jailed for driving theory test scam

An attempt by two brothers to have one sit the driving theory test in place of the other has resulted in them both being jailed at Derry Crown Court.

24-year-old Terence Stokes, from Glenvale Gardens in Derry was jailed for nine months while his  28-year-old brother, Michael Stokes, from Chapel Road, received a six-month sentence.

It is believed that this is the first prosecution of its kind in the North.

Terence Stokes admitted conspiring with his brother to sit the theory test on his behalf and Michael Stokes pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting his brother to impersonate him at the theory test. The offences happened between August 3 and 26, 2009.

The court was told that Michael Stoke's had literacy problems and a defence barrister Neil Rafferty said that the irony of the situation was that the test actually catered for people with literacy difficulties.

He pointed out that Michael Stokes actually sat the test and passed it six months later.

The court was told that Terence Stokes, didn't get to sit the test on his brother's behalf as he walked out of the test centre minutes after applying to sit it.

Defence Counsel Eoghan Devlin, Defence Counsel for Michael Stokes, described it as a "hair-brained" scheme hatched by two brothers in a bid to gain a licence by a short-cut.

Judge Piers Grant said the offences were so serious they merited custodial sentences and added that the brother's actions were premeditated and pre-planned and, if they had succeeded, it would have seriously undermined public confidence in the licensing system.