A Bulgarian national who was caught using a false licence which he paid over €1,000 for has been handed a suspended sentence.
The 25-year-old’s barrister told court: “He has resided in this jurisdiction for two and a half years and has never claimed any benefits during that time.”
Mihail Mitkov, of Banbrook Hill in Armagh, pleaded guilty to possessing a false identity document, using a vehicle without insurance, no driving licence and making a false declaration to obtain insurance at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
Prosecution outlined that on November 15, at 10.30am, police spoke to the driver of a Mercedes vehicle on Railway Street, Armagh.
He identified himself as the defendant and produced a poor quality counterfeit Bulgarian licence, which was seized.
Mitkov was arrested on suspicion of the offences for which he appeared before the court.
During interview, the defendant stated that he had purchased the licence in Bulgaria and believed it to be genuine.
Mitkov said he understood that you had to pass a practical exam to gain a licence and accepted that he never sat such a test in any jurisdiction.
He also made admissions to informing the insurance company that he had a full licence.
Defence barrister Conor Coulter stated: “This was a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and this is a man with no record whatsoever.
“He was offered the licence shortly before he came to this jurisdiction. He believed that having the licence would enhance his employment options here and he paid over €1,000 for it.”
He continued: “The irony is that he paid for a full 12 months of insurance on the vehicle, even though it was not valid.
“He works full time at Moy Park. He has resided in this jurisdiction for two and a half years and has never claimed any benefits during that time.”
Mitkov was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for two years and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.
In addition, the defendant was also ordered to pay a fine of £400, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.