Banned Ilkeston driving instructor sent learner to test with untaxed car

A banned driving instructor from Ilkeston sent a learner to a test with an untaxed car
A banned driving instructor from Ilkeston sent a learner to a test with an untaxed car

An Ilkeston driving instructor has admitted defrauding 11 learners after he was removed from an official register.

Larry Wren was caught when he sent a pupil for a test in an untaxed car while another vehicle had an illegal tyre, a court heard.

The Derbyshire man pleaded guilty to 11 charges of fraud involving £3,500, seven counts of having no vehicle insurance and two of failing to disclose information to get insurance.

Wren, 55, of Nicholas Close, Ilkeston appeared at Nottingham Magistrates' Court. He will be sentenced at the city's crown court on May 22.

District Judge Leo Pyle said: "My sentencing powers are insufficient based on the information provided today.

"He has driven a couple of cars through the regime.

"He gave lessons as an instructor when he should not have done. One person turns up at the test centre without an MoT and a dodgy tyre."

Olivia McGinn, prosecuting, said that Wren had been an approved instructor before being removed from the list in May last year. The reason for this must be provided to the crown court.

"He continued to give paid tuition in Derby, Nottingham and surrounding areas for six months. There were about 11 students," said Miss McGinn.

At one point, he had two vehicles but sold one to a pupil. A Kia was not insured for the work which involved Wren charging £25 an hour for tuition and another £25 when the car was used for the test.

Miss McGinn told the court: "They said most of the transactions would be in cash.

"When one student presented at the test centre, the test was cancelled because the car was not taxed.

"The student was reimbursed the £62 test fee but not the £25 fee for the car.

"Clearly there has been an abuse of trust and there are multiple victims."

Nick Walsh, mitigating, said that Wren had been an instructor for nine years and that many of his pupils had passed the test.

"A lot of people speak in glowing terms. People will fail their driving tests irrespective of the quality of instructions because they are not good enough," said Mr Walsh.

Referring to one of the former pupils, Mr Walsh added: "He had positive things to be said about Mr Wren, even when he knew he was not qualified."

The case was brought by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and Andy Rice, Head of Investigation and Counter Fraud, said: "The agency is committed to protecting everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

"It is pleasing to see that our thorough investigation has resulted in this conviction. Approved driving instructors are carefully vetted, extensively trained and rigorously tested to ensure they give the best possible tuition to learners. We are determined to rid our roads of their fraudulent counterparts.

"This case serves as a reminder to anyone considering providing illegal driving instruction to a learner driver that they will be brought to account for their actions."