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Gloucestershire Business News

Prison sentence for attempting to cheat driving theory test

A former Iranian sportsman has been jailed after three attempts to cheat the driving theory test - twice by wearing a secret Bluetooth earpiece and then by sending a lookalike in his place.

Gloucester Crown Court heard Amir Lorzadeh, 38, of Shenley Green, Birmingham, was seen inserting the earpiece into headphones supplied to him at the Cheltenham and Sutton Coldfield test centres.

After being detected at both centres he applied for a theory test at Redditch, but got another man to take the test in his name.

Lorzadeh, who had been convicted of the first two offences and admitted the third, was jailed for 11 months by Judge Jason Taylor QC, who told him: "You had callous disregard of the integrity of a system which is designed to ensure only those qualified to drive safely get behind the wheel of a car."

The prosecution was brought by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

The court heard applicants whose first language is not English can be provided with headphones to listen to the questions in their own language.

Prosecutor Justin Davies said Lorzadeh had requested headphones when he sat his theory test in Cheltenham in December 2017 and was searched before the test.

Me Davies said" "An invigilator interrupted the test and asked for the headphones to be removed. The defendant put up a struggle at this suggestion.

"When the headphones were removed he discreetly tried to remove an object from the device with a clenched fist.

"He said he had used this device to help him to understand the questions. He claimed he was sorry for what he had done and claimed he didn't know it was illegal to use a digital earpiece."

The court was told Lozardeh dropped what looked like a digital earpiece at Sutton Coldfield in November 2018 and when staff intervened during the test, he removed the device and concealed it in his clenched fist."

The court was told that a further theory test in Redditch last November, the man who stood in for him spoke English and passed the test but Lorzadeh was stopped from taking his practical test the following month.

Andrew Wilkins, defending, said: "Mr Lorzadeh was a very successful sportsman who become a national bodybuilding champion in Iran followed by some international success."

Having been granted asylum in the UK, he tried to set up a training business but when he looked for other jobs, he needed a driving licence having driven in Iran but struggled with English for the theory test.

Lorzadeh was found guilty in January of two counts of possessing an article for use in fraud and pleaded guilty in September to supplying a provisional driving licence to the person who resembled him for use in fraud.

Judge Taylor told Lorzadeh: "Your actions show a brazen disrespect of due process in continuing to offend whie awaiting trial.

"Individually and together these are serious offences, especially when you consider the planning undertaken during the process which would have involved others at the other end of the Bluetooth device.

"I don't believe you are remorseful as you committed this offending on more than one occasion. Your desperation for your licence highlighted your frustrations over language difficulties.

"Your lack of insight and your minimising of the seriousness of your offending does not reflect well on you."

The judge jailed Lorzadeh for 11 months and told him that he was not able to suspend the sentence.

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