Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Writer
Following the conviction of a St Catherine man on charges for use of fraudulent licence plates, the police have said that the practise is widespread and will be addressed.
The man convicted is Michael Ranger, a 37-year-old of Bog Walk, St Catherine. When he appeared in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday he pleaded guilty to forgery, possession of and fraudulent use of licence plates.
His lawyer, Michael Deans, begged the court for leniency, saying his client is a single parent and that sending him to prison would wreck his family structure. "Your honour, he has thrown himself at the mercy of the court, I know in the future he will not do anything as 'creative' to find himself in trouble," Deans said.
Resident Magistrate Simone Wolfe-Reece then warned the accused about his wayward action and told him that as an adult, he should strive to do the right for his children. "I am minded that your lawyer has made a plea of leniency and that you have not wasted the court's time. The fines will be heavy. In the future you must endeavour to do the right thing,'' the RM said.
Ranger was fined $100,000 or six months for possession and $25,000 for fraudulent use, plus $80,000 or six months for forgery.
Ranger was held on the grounds of the Bog Walk police station on October 18 by police personnel. He was reportedly seen driving a motor vehicle and asked to present documentation, including insurance. It was checked and found to belong to another motor vehicle. The licence plates on the vehicle also belonged to another motor vehicle, from which the accused claimed to have borrowed them.
Further investigations by the police revealed the plates were duplicated and that the insurance was forged. Ranger was subsequently charged.
Police personnel told Automotives that their job has been made more difficult by motorists using fictitious documents. It was revealed that even road licences have been found to be fictitious or fraudulently altered, and the police said persons are found with fictitious driver's licences daily.