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DJ changed his name to dodge driving ban
12:44pm Friday 31st August 2012 in News
A DISC jockey who fixed himself up with a new identity so he could drive while banned has been spared an immediate term in jail.
Stuart Cooper changed his name by deed poll and passed a driving test.
He then gave his new name of Ben Hackett to insurers, pretended he was a chartered surveyor and lied that he had no convictions, said Alex Warren, prosecuting at Worcester Crown Court .
But he was unmasked as a cheat after being caught drink-driving in Newtown Road , Worcester.
A fingerprint check revealed his correct name and previous conviction for dangerous driving while over the drink limit which landed him a three-year disqualification.
Cooper, aged 22, of Canterbury Road, Worcester, was given eight months jail, suspended for two years, and another three-year driving ban.
He pleaded guilty to fraud, perverting and attempting to pervert the course of justice, driving with excess alcohol and driving uninsured.
Cooper was also given an 18-month community order and must take an extended driving test before going back on the road.
Recorder Geraint Walters was told that Cooper’s family relied on his help. His mother was ill, his father worked away from home and his sister had recently undergone a serious back operation.
He told a weeping Cooper that he should “start behaving like a grown-up man” and “stop taking pity on yourself”. He had “lived a lie” for a year under a new identity and fully deserved jail.
But the recorder said the public would “not be best served” by a modest jail term and added that he had sympathy for the defendant’s family.
“The situation at home is a burden to all of you,” he said. “It’s about time you started acting responsibly. “You should knuckle down and help your family.”
After he was banned in 2009 for dangerous driving, Cooper was jailed for 16 weeks five months later for driving while disqualified and careless driving, said Mr Warren.
But in March 2010 Cooper changed his name and then submitted an online application for a provisional driving licence. Passing his test, he then began driving again for 11 months.
During that time he got insurance from three companies for his cars using a fake birth date. But on July 22, 2011 he was stopped for speeding in Bath Road, Worcester, and went on a speed-awareness course, not disclosing he was a banned driver.
A month later he was stopped for drink-driving – which led to his downfall after his real name and background were revealed.
Iain Suggett, defending, said he dreamed up the “desperate scheme” so he could work as a travelling DJ. Mr Suggett argued that it would be merciful to suspend the sentence due to the extreme family circumstances.