March 02, 2012
Uninsured driver is lost until court translation
Magistrates knew they would have to call for help with translation after a Czech driver was asked by the clerk whether his offence had happened on a Sunday. He replied: "No the car was an Audi."
Father-of-six Miraslav Balog, 38, of Gladstone Road, Folkestone, appeared before Folkestone magistrates last week to face a charge of driving without insurance in his Audi A4 on November 27.
He was pulled over by police in Priory Gate Road, Dover, just before 9pm and when officers discovered he was not insured, they seized his car.
Unemployed Balog struggled at the opening of the hearing as he tried to explain he had changed his car but forgotten to tell his insurance company.
When the clerk asked him whether he was driving on a Sunday and Balog told them his car was an Audi, magistrates decided he needed an interpreter. Using the police call centre a Czech translator was called and the remainder of the hearing was conducted with Balog stood at the front of the court communicating via speaker phone.
It was revealed that he had actually bought the car 10 days before and had not bothered to tell his insurers. It was also revealed that the Czech national, who came to Britain three years ago, had been disqualified from driving in 2009 – a ban which has since expired.