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Woman jailed for impersonating learner drivers at practical tests in Sidcup

PUBLISHED: 14:46 28 March 2017

DVLA UK driving licence

DVLA UK driving licence

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Regine Tezangi, 52, received hundreds of pounds from women so that she’d sit their test for them

A woman who impersonated five learner drivers to take their practical driving tests has been jailed for seven months.

Regine Tezangi, 52, was paid hundreds of pounds to sit the DVLA tests for the women between June 2014 and February 2016 at test centres in Sidcup and Hither Green.

She pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud at an earlier hearing and was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to seven months in jail on Tuesday afternoon.

The five women who were impersonated by Tezangi, of Hackney, London, were also sentenced at the court after pleading guilty previously.

Esther Ehigbor, 53, Galech Barry, 30, and Ruphine Impiri, 44, were sentenced to three months in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 200 hours’ unpaid work. Sylvie Omango, 37, was handed the same plus a curfew for three months, and Riskiet Olawuyi, 46, was given an extra 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Tezangi failed the first test for Impiri on January 22 2016, and resat it on February 4 2016.

She received £500 from Impiri for taking the test, who had become “frustrated by the number of lessons” that she had taken, the court heard.

Judge Deborah Taylor said the actions had created a “risk of serious injury which is in one sense unquantifiable but ... could be catastrophic”.

She said that some of the women paid for the licences that they were provided with by Tezangi’s actions, which have now been revoked.

Judge Taylor described the offences as “serious”, adding that they “exposed other drivers... to risks”.

She said the crime “totally undermines the driving licence system”.

Tezangi, who is studying for a BSc in Tourism and Business, was said to have acted after hearing “stories of desperation”.

Caroline Jackson, defending, said she acted because she had a “desire to help others in need”.

But Bill McGivern, for the prosecution, said: “These offences are offences which undermine the integrity of the driving licence system.”

Judge Taylor said that while Tezangi’s actions were not said to have been for financial gain, and that she “may not have made a lot of money”, she said “there was some commercial benefit to you”.

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