Shame of failed driving instructor; MAN KEPT ON TAKING PUPILS FOR LESSONS.
Byline: LYNDA ROUGHLEY ECHO Correspondent firstname.lastname@example.org @LIVECHONEWS
A DRIVING instructor who failed a standards test three times and lost his accreditation carried on regardless teaching pupils.
John Kwok Keung Lee appealed against losing his certification and, after a tribunal dismissed his application, he stopped taking on new clients - but continued with existing ones for eight months.
But he came unstuck when a driving test examiner at the Norris Green test centre raised the alarm and the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency began inquiries.
Liverpool Crown Court heard he had a valid driving instructor certificate from January last year to January, 2020, but this was removed from the register of approved driving instructors in October 20 last year.
Paul Blasbery, prosecuting, said: "He had failed to pass a standards check on three occasions and returned his instructor's licence to the agency."
Investigations revealed Lee's car had been used for 58 driving tests between October and April this year. Three clients were interviewed and it found that he had received about PS2,650 from them alone.
Lee, 61, of Storeton Road, Prenton, Wirral, pleaded guilty to fraud.
Ken Heckle, defending, said Lee had been an instructor for 10 years and was good at his job but his pass rate was not as good because "he took on a lot of middle-aged and elderly Asian and Chinese people."
Mr Heckle said Lee had been frank and admitted that, as he lost his certification not long before Christmas, he carried on with his existing clients as he felt he could not tell his family "Christmas is not happening."
He added: "There was terrible temptation in October last year and he carried on. He blames no-one else other than himself."
Mr Heckle said that Lee, who has no previous convictions and had played a useful role in the community, has since passed the standards check but unfortunately the court proceedings were then under way and so he could not get his certificate back. He had a strong work ethic and was now hoping to use his skills as a taxi driver, though that was dependant on the outcome of the case, said Mr Heckle.
Imposing an 18-month community order Judge Brian Cummings, QC, described the circumstances as "unusual." He said that the precise amount of money Lee took from customers after losing his certification was unclear, but he was being sentenced on the basis it was between PS5,000 - PS20,000.
"I accept the loss of your good name is a serious matter at your stage of life and background," added the judge. He ordered Lee to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and 10 days of rehabilitation activities.
John Kwok Keung Lee - 18-month community order