A fraudster has been jailed after taking driving theory tests for other people while disguising himself with a bandage around his head.
Izmir Senaj, 28, used several excuses for his injuries as he turned up to DVSA centres across England to impersonate people whose tests he had agreed to take for them.
He was eventually caught by a staff member at a theory test centre in Swindon, who recognised him from a wanted appeal and called the police.
Senaj, of East Ham, London, was jailed for two years and four months at Swindon Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud.
Judge Jason Taylor QC said: ‘Your actions show a callous disregard for the system which is designed to ensure that only those qualified to drive safely get behind the wheel of a car.
‘This could have had significant consequences both for road users and pedestrians and therefore my public duty requires me to reflect that.’
Judge Taylor said he noted Senaj had twice been jailed for driving test fraud since 2014 and committed the latest offences while on licence.
The court heard in late 2018 and early 2019, Senaj went to four test centres in southern England to take the driving theory test on others’ behalf.
On October 11, 2018, he arrived early to an appointment at the Eastbourne test centre.
Dressed in a high visibility vest and wearing a bandage around his head and plaster over his nose, he handed over a provisional driving licence in the name of an Albanian man.
He explained to the receptionist he had been working on a building site earlier that day when he was struck by scaffolding and was sent home early by first aiders.
He was allowed to take the test, which he passed.
Five days later, on October 16, he used a similar cover story at the Hastings test centre – this time claiming to have fallen off a ladder.
After he was recognised by the same staff member who’d dealt with him days earlier in Eastbourne, he claimed he needed to use the toilet then left the centre.
On November 28, 2018, he was turned away from the Harlow test centre as staff were not convinced he was the Serbian national whose provisional driving licence he presented at the front desk.
Two months later, on January 24, 2019, a staff member at the Swindon theory test centre in Milton Road recognised him from an internal DVSA poster.
She allowed him to take the test, buying her time to wait for police to arrive.
Interviewed by fraud investigators, Senaj claimed he owed gambling debts to two of the people he impersonated, including one he described as a ‘violent gangster’.
Judge Taylor said Senaj had earlier been sentenced to 11 months prison at Snaresbrook Crown Court in 2014 for seven offences of driving test fraud.
He received a three-year sentence for another seven offences in 2017.
In total, he had five convictions for 28 offences.
Tanveer Qureshi, mitigating, suggested his client had been a ‘one man band’.
However, Judge Taylor told the defendant he was satisfied to the criminal standard there was a group or gang element to the crimes and it was organised.