Corrupt court official who helped motorists to falsify their driving records jailed

Debt-ridden David Kelly operated the scam from his workplace in the administration department at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court

A corrupt court official who helped more than 70 motorists to falsify their driving records and escape bans has been jailed for six years.

David Kelly, 47, committed a “gross breach of trust” in a betrayal of the criminal justice system, his colleagues and the general public, a judge said today. Debt-ridden Kelly operated the scam from his workplace in the administration department at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court.

He assisted 71 drivers in removing details of convictions, disqualifications and penalty points on 110 occasions between 2004 and 2010.

Preston Crown Court heard that drivers would pass cash to “middle men” who had contacts within the Liverpool underworld and their details would be handed to Kelly, pictured. The defendant then sent forms from the court to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to request the alterations.

Sentencing him, Judge Graham Knowles QC said: “Liverpool City Magistrates’ ran like every other magistrates’ court.

“The magistrates, the clerks and the office staff dealt with penalty points, so did the staff of the Central Ticketing Office. Civil servants in Swansea [at the DVLA] kept the drivers’ records.

“But unknown to all of these decent people, you, Kelly, were running a corrupt business at the court, bypassing justice after everyone thought it had been done.”

It is understood that most of the corrupt payments from members of the public were made in pubs across Liverpool, with £100 thought to be the going rate for erasing one penalty point. DVLA officers in Swansea first became suspicious of Kelly in September 2008 when he faxed a number of bogus forms, said the Crown. But Kelly, of Southern Crescent, Toxteth, was cleared to continue working after an internal investigation and was finally caught in April 2010 when court staff discovered bogus forms and driver details in a confidential waste sack.

On Thursday a jury found him guilty of conspiracy to pervert the court of justice. Judge Knowles told him: “You perverted justice systematically and cunningly. You acted in gross breach of trust. You betrayed justice, the public, the magistrates and your decent, hard-working colleagues who like court staff everywhere are proud to play their part in justice.”

Three of his “customers” were in the dock with him and were convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Mark Camello, 33, of Toxteth, was jailed for 14 months, while Samantha Evans, 25, of West Derby, and Shaun Robinson, 24, of Toxteth, were each jailed for 12 months. Judge Knowles told them: “You thought you could buy off justice with corruption. That strikes at the heart of the system and makes a mockery of justice.” Kelly had worked at the court for 20 years.

All four defendants had denied the charges. A number of people involved in the scam have already been jailed.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam