August 18, 2011
A KENYAN motorist who produced a fake Italian driving licence at Gablecross Police Station was reprimanded at Swindon Magistrates’ Court.
Ruth Ngugi, 36, who fled her country some years earlier, said she acquired the forged licence because she feared she would not be able to pass the UK driving test.
Nick Barr, prosecuting on Wednesday, said a police officer was in County Road, Broadgreen, on January 31, 2011 at about 2.30pm when he saw a Nissan Almera heading down Broad Street.
He did not like the appearance of the car, so he stopped it. When asked to produce a driving licence, Ngugi claimed she had an Italian licence although she was Kenyan.
The officer asked her to present the licence at the police station, which she did the next day.
But the police officer on duty believed it was not valid and was in fact fake, said Mr Barr. The police checked the licence with the DVLA, which confirmed his suspicions.
In a police interview, Ngugi said when she arrived in the UK she had a genuine Kenyan driving licence but feared she would not be able to pass the UK test.
She spoke to a friend who said he would get her an Italian licence if she gave him the Kenyan licence.
Ngugi, of Broadway, Cardiff, admitted possessing a driving licence with intent to deceive, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, and driving without third-party insurance.
The court heard she was serving a six-month jail term imposed at Cardiff Crown Court for two offences of possessing a false identity document with intent, in this case a passport.
Kelly Jones, defending, said Ngugi came to the UK in 1999 after fleeing Kenya to escape a social group she was forced to join, which believes in female circumcision.
She lives with her partner and three children in Cardiff.
Ms Jones said Ngugi made “full and frank” admissions to the offences and entered early guilty pleas.
She was given a two-year conditional discharge for the fake licence offence and banned from driving for 12 months for the insurance offence.
She was given no separate penalty for the other offence, but her licence was endorsed.