A Lithuanian man who moved to Northern Ireland to save his young child from his addict mother has been ordered to take his test after being caught with a fake driving licence.
Robertas Dembinskas, 40, of Drumman Park, Armagh, appeared at the city magistrates’ court on Tuesday charged with obtaining a false certificate of insurance, driving whilst uninsured, without a licence and possessing a false identity document.
Court heard that on March 19, at around 5pm, police stopped the defendant on the Loughgall Road driving a Renault Clio.
When asked to show a licence and insurance, it was noted by officers that the Lithuanian licence appeared to be fake.
The defendant was arrested and when cautioned told police, “I am disqualified from driving in my own country”.
He was taken to Dungannon custody suite where he made no reply in interview.
Once bailed police made contact with the insurance company who informed them he had sent the same false licence.
Defence counsel told the court Dembinskas later made a full admission to the offence,
The licence, it was heard, had been sourced in Lithuania and was bought for €300.
Court heard that Dembinskas had moved to Northern Ireland seven months ago from Belgium where he had lived for the last 14 years.
The defence explained that this move had been to take his young child away from his mother who suffered from addiction problems.
They went on to explain he had lost his licence for drink driving seven years ago and his family told him a licence would be essential to gain employment.
He had explained to his defence that a friend had to get a fake licence so that he did not have to re-apply for a Lithuanian one, which may have taken some time.
Defence told court this had been a “foolish decision”, adding that the licence was a “fairly amateurish piece of equipment”.
District Judge Paul Copeland said he would take into account Dembinskas’s early plea and clear record, but the offence was very serious as it “endangers other road users”.
He went on to say there were “a number of mitigating factors including those involving his immediate family”, however, it was “essential that he regularise his driving documentation”.
Dembinskas was disqualified for three months and to remain so until he took his test.
The defendant was also ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15.