Page last updated at 20:05 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

Driving instructor's driving ban

Harjit Singh Bhogal
A judge described Harjit Singh Bhogal's behaviour as "dishonest and devious"

A Berkshire man has been given a nine-month suspended sentence for continuing to give lessons as a driving instructor, despite being struck off.

Harjit Singh Bhogal was removed from the Approved Driving Instructors' register in 2003, after his conviction for indecently assaulting a learner.

He pleaded not guilty to four charges of fraud by misrepresentation at Reading Crown Court on 1 October.

Bhogal, 61, from Slough, was also disqualified from driving for a year.

Reading Crown Court heard on Thursday that Bhogal was the main carer for a disabled daughter and two elderly parents.

Judge Stephen John told him: "Were it not for that fact he would undoubtedly be starting a prison sentence tonight.

"You deserve custody - your dishonest and devious behaviour merits it."

You're someone who is not fit to have driving duties
Judge Stephen John

Judge John went on to say that given Bhogal's previous conviction for indecent assault "no young woman would knowingly have got into a car to have lessons" with him.

"You're someone who is not fit to have driving duties," he added.

Bhogal's prison sentence was suspended for two years and he was given a three-month curfew between the hours of 2200 GMT and 0700 GMT.

He was also ordered to pay 200 compensation to one pupil and 1400 court costs.

Michelle Moston, deputy head of the fraud and integrity team at the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), said: "This case clearly demonstrates the reason why anyone who is paying for driving tuition must ensure that their instructor is an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI).

"Before an individual is allowed to register as an ADI they are assessed by the DSA to ensure that they are 'fit and proper' and that they have a high standard of driving and instructional ability."

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