Carnlough man fined £500 for being an unregistered driving instructor

Carnlough man fined £500 for being an unregistered driving instructor

A CARNLOUGH man has been fined £500 for being an unregistered driving instructor.

Martin McKinley (60),of Beachlands, came to police attention at Donaghy's Lane in Larne on December 22 last year.

Police stopped a Polo vehicle displaying L plates and the female driver said the front seat passenger was her paid driving instructor, a prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates' Court.

When checks were made it was established the defendant did not hold any qualifications to allow him to work as a paid driving instructor.

The defendant had a previously clear record.

When interviewed later he admitted "receiving payment for driving lessons when not qualified to do so," the prosecutor said.

A defence lawyer said there was a three-step process to get a driving instructor registration but after doing the first two stages the third had been "cancelled due to Covid".

The lawyer said the defendant had been waiting to complete the final stage "to become a fully qualified driving instructor" but then his "services were requested and he felt obliged to continue with them".

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer said: "Society expects that people who hold themselves out as people qualified to undertake such work are properly registered and have gone through the proper channels".

The judge said the level of the fine was because the offence "affects the confidence the public have in agreeing to take instruction from somebody whom they didn't realise wasn't registered".

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