Driving instructor was not qualified

Paul Andrew Berry, 44, of Jilling Ing Park, Dewsbury, who is charged with seven counts of fraud, for purporting to be a qualified driving instuctor. (d15021159)
Paul Andrew Berry, 44, of Jilling Ing Park, Dewsbury, who is charged with seven counts of fraud, for purporting to be a qualified driving instuctor. (d15021159)

A MAN has been jailed for pretending to be a qualified driving instructor.

Judge Kerry Macgill said he wanted to make an example of Paul Berry when he sentenced him to four months in prison.

Berry, 45, admitted making £6,500 from his pupils over more than three years.

Leeds Crown Court heard how Berry, of Jilling Ing Park, Earlsheaton, failed one of the tests necessary to qualify as a driving instructor in October last year, and could not afford to resit it.

Simon Ostler, prosecuting, said Berry only registered to qualify as a driving instructor in June 2010, but had been claiming income tax as a self-employed driving instructor since 2005.

Mr Ostler said: “He knew the route to become an approved driving instructor.

“The fact that this defendant was operating as a driving instructor can indicate a lack of public confidence in the system of checking driving instructors.”

Richard Clews, mitigating, said: “The customers got a service.

“They got what they paid for and it seems that they got a very good service.”

In a statement read to the court at Wednesday’s hearing, Berry said: “I have always wanted to work and I have gone the wrong way about it, and I apologise for that.”

Berry pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud by false representation, dating from September 2007 to October 2010, at an earlier hearing.

Sentencing, Judge Macgill told Berry: “You attempted to masquerade as a qualified driving instructor.

“You deceived on a calculated and repeated basis. It was an uninsured and, in my view, dangerous service.”

Judge Macgill said that some of Berry’s pupils had passed their driving tests, but said he wanted to deter others from thinking they could get away with pretending to be qualified driving instructors.