Man, 70, caught selling fake driving licences for £1,500 each

An OAP caught selling fake driving licences for £1,500 a time has been jailed for 15 months. Paul Ridden, 70, admitted to police he had been selling the fakes for the last ten years.

A search of his house uncovered a clear plastic folder under a bed with eight fraudulent driving licence applications. There was also a notebook including one particular piece of paper which had a list of names of people who had ordered driving licences from Ridden, of Alpheton, Suffolk.

While he admitted to selling the fake licences for £1,500 for the last ten years, the charges he faced were only for activity dating back to 2017.

He had been charged with conspiring to commit fraud by false representation, possessing an article for use in fraud and acquiring criminal property. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 months at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday, February 9.

The defence for Ridden, Lucy Sweetland, said Ridden’s frankness during police interviews should be considered a mitigating factor in the sentencing.

Accomplices Marion Wilson, 73, of Glemsford, Suffolk and Leon Childs, 36, of Southend, Essex were also charged with conspiring to commit fraud by false representation.

Childs had been on the list of names of people who had ordered from Ridden under the false name of James Luck. The court said he was not sentenced because he flew off to Thailand in 2021 and has not been apprehended since.

Wilson also pleaded guilty and she was given a conditional discharge of 18 months by Judge Pugh as she had a very limited involvement. Wilson’s defence, Steven Dyble, said that in mitigation his client was in her early 70s and struggling to make ends meet.

Judge Pugh agreed with Dyble’s recommendation of a conditional discharge but reminded her that if she committed any offence during this time she would be brought back to the court.


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