Speeding Ticket Scam
“Done for speeding? Ticket to pay? More points on your licence? You don’t want that, do you. I tell you what, give me the paperwork, slip me £400 cash and I’ll ensure you hear no more about it.” That sums up a scam being operated by Wiqas Ahmed and Mario Sardo, both of whom are serving prison sentences after police disrupted their little operation.
It’s hard to believe that there are motorists willing to take a chance on this kind of illegal scheme. But there are. Take 43-year-old Neil Fordham from FInchampstead near Reading. He did just this and was found guilty by a jury at Reading Crown Court of two counts of perverting the course of justice. The court sentenced him to five months in custody for each offence, to run concurrently. He was also disqualified from driving for six months.
Fordham was among three drivers who used two other men to escape speeding tickets. On receipt of their ‘notices of intended prosecution’, the three took the paperwork to Wiqas Ahmed or Mario Sardo, who for a fee of up to £400 would initiate a reply to police with false driver details.
Some of these false driver nominations resulted in fictitious people being convicted at magistrates’ court, as well as another person who had been falsely nominated as a driver who knew nothing of the offence. That was until bailiffs knocked on his door demanding £600 of unpaid court fines. Officers used handwriting analysis and investigated a number of addresses linked to the scam, which led to Ahmed and Sardo pleading guilty.
Ahmed, 42, from Rochdale but formerly of Bradley Road, Slough, pleaded guilty to five counts of perverting the course of justice in January and was sentenced to 21 months in prison for each count, to run concurrently.
Sardo, 45, from Littlewick Green, Maidenhead, pleaded guilty to four counts of perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to 12 months for each count, to run concurrently.
Police officers identified more than 100 speeding offences linked to the men and charged Neil Fordham and two other drivers. Janet Terry, 70, from Old Windsor, pleaded guilty to one count of perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, a three-month curfew, and disqualified from driving for three months.
Rebecca Ward, 45, of Maidenhead pleaded guilty to one count of perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to 15 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and a two-month curfew.
Bear in mind that most speed offences result in an offer of a speed awareness course or three penalty points and a £60 fine. The sentences handed down for providing police false information often carry a period in custody as well as disqualification from driving. A big risk compared to the penalties for speeding.