A 31-year-old man who claimed to be his brother to evade prosecution for a traffic offence has been jailed for four months.
Grace Mbala, of Gurnards Avenue in Milton Keynes, was arrested in the early hours of July 12, 2020, in Bouverie Street, Northampton, on suspicion of driving whilst over the prescribed limit and having no valid insurance.
When asked at the roadside, and again in police custody, he stated his name was Joel Mbala – who was in fact his younger brother who lived at the same address in Milton Keynes.
No further action was taken in relation to the drink drive allegation however, Mbala was informed he would be sent a postal requisition in connection with the offence of driving with no valid motor insurance.
On December 15, last year, Grace Mbala attended Northampton Magistrates’ Court where he again presented himself as his brother Joel, and produced documents to prove he was in fact insured to drive the car he’d been stopped in.
However, when the officer in charge of the case, PC Sean Whelan, called Mbala to verify the documents, the real Joel Mbala answered the telephone, and it became clear that he wasn’t the defendant.
Grace Mbala admitted to passing himself off as his brother, intercepting the postal requisition to avoid his family finding out, as he didn’t want to jeopardise his driving licence after previously being banned for six months.
He was subsequently charged with perverting the course of justice, and on June 23 this year, Mbala pleaded guilty at Northampton Crown Court and was sentenced to four-months in prison.
Following the sentencing, PC Whelan of the West Local Policing Area, said: “Grace Mbala’s actions have had an adverse effect on his brother’s life, with his lies impacting on Joel’s job prospects.
“Mbala had plenty of opportunities to reveal his identity however he continued to mislead the courts, even if that meant his brother received a criminal record, so not to jeopardise HIS own driving licence which he needed for work.”
“It’s essential that everyone who drives on our roads has valid insurance before they get behind the wheel, if Mbala had taken out a policy he wouldn’t be spending the summer in prison.”