A WARWICK man’s credit rating and his ability to insure his car were affected after he failed to pay a fine for a speeding offence he was unaware had been recorded against him.
The real culprit was the innocent victim’s ‘step-son’ Darran Phazey, who had insured his own car in his name, a judge at Warwick Crown Court has heard.
Phazey, now of Howell Road, Sheldon, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud by taking out car insurance in his step father’s name, exposing him to a risk of loss.
The 36-year-old was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work, to take part in a Thinking Skills programme, and banned from driving for a year.
Prosecutor Rebecca Da Silva said in early 2015 Phazey bought a Mazda which he registered in the name of woman, giving his mother’s address in George Road, Warwick.
Phazey, who was living there at the time, then insured the car in the name of his mother’s then-partner.
The following year the car was caught speeding, and a notice of intended prosecution was sent to his victim at the George Road address – but he never received it.
As a result he was unaware he had been convicted in his absence – until bailiffs turned up at his home to recover payment after he had failed to pay the fine imposed by the magistrates.
Because of the conviction, which resulted in him getting six points on his licence, and his failure to pay the fine, his ability to obtain insurance and his credit rating were both affected.
And Miss Da Silva pointed out that meanwhile Phazey was driving the car uninsured and without a licence, and has escaped prosecution for the speeding offence.
Tariq Shakoor, defending said since the offence Phazey had served a 16-month prison sentence imposed in December 2018 for burglary.
Since his release he had made positive steps towards changing his lifestyle, and was engaging well with his supervising officer and working in partnership with his brother as a handyman.
Of the offence, Mr Shakoor said: “He has regretted what he did. It has led to a massive fall-out between him and his step-father. He has a deep regret that he put his step-father in that position.
“Happily the points and the financial penalty suffered by the victim were quashed.”
Sentencing Phazey, and ordering him to pay compensation of £200 to his ‘step-father’, Judge Anthony Potter told him: “You acted in a thoroughly dishonest way. You were abusing your step-father’s trust, and the activity was over a sustained period and had a high impact.”