A mechanic who worked from home for a company on a zero-hours contract has been banned from driving for six months and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service after venturing onto the road while disqualified and without the correct motor trade insurance policy.
Arthur Jorge de Sousa from Jersey has been driving around the Island for the last twelve years on a license he obtained in Portugal while doing work in the country. The 49-year-old was banned from driving in 2006, but that fact had escaped the notice of the local court, where he was hauled in on four separate occasions for not being properly insured.
De Sousa’s ruse was finally rumbled in early hours of 10 February when he was stopped by police while on the road in a blue Ford Galaxy. Subsequent checks by the force found that he still didn’t have any insurance and that he had been disqualified from driving more than a decade ago, and had failed to obtain a working license since.
Advocate Niall Macdonald, who was defending de Sousa in court, said his client has erroneously believed that he could drive on Jersey roads with either a provisional license or a Portuguese driving license. “He had appeared in court on four previous occasions and it had never been put to him that he was disqualified from driving,” the lawyer added.
De Sousa’s lack of knowledge about the rule of the road is made more surprising by the fact that he had worked in the motor trade for several years. MacDonald also revealed that his client believed he already had the relevant insurance as he was working for a third party doing vehicle maintenance work. The fact that he didn’t have the right combination of cover appears to have aggravated the issue and he has now been sentenced to community service, and banned from driving for half a year.
Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris added: “Clearly the defendant knew he did not have insurance for the vehicle he was driving. Since the disqualification in 2006, this is the fourth no insurance matter to come before the court. You have a number of previous convictions for using vehicles without insurance which is an aggravating factor.”
In other motor trade insurance news, a new study has found that drivers in London have to fork out more for car insurance than the rest of the country. West Londoners currently pay twice as much as the UK average for car insurance premiums, which stands at £827. Drivers in East London, Central East London, North London and Western Central London rounded out the top five, so areas in the capital are certainly the most expensive.
In contrast, Galashiels in Scotland was the cheapest with average premiums of just over £533, which was slightly cheaper than Exeter (£544) and Truro Cornwall (£562). The south west appears to be among the cheaper regions for car insurance as Bath, Gloucester, Taunton, Worcester and Bristol all had average premiums coming in at less than £700.
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