A man accused of providing false driving licence applications to the DVLA has been jailed for 15 months. 

Paul Ridden, 70, of Aveley Lane, Alpheton, near Sudbury, Marion Wilson, 73, of High, Glemsford, and Leon Childs, 36, of Leamington Road, Southend, were charged with conspiring to commit fraud by false representation.

Sudbury Mercury: Paul Ridden was jailed for 15 months on Friday.Paul Ridden was jailed for 15 months on Friday. (Image: Suffolk Constabulary)

Ridden was also charged with possessing an article for use in fraud and acquiring criminal property.

Childs was not sentenced because he flew off to Thailand in 2021 and has not been apprehended since, the court said. 

Both Ridden and Wilson have previously pleaded guilty.

Wilson was given a conditional discharge of 18 months by Judge Pugh as she had a very limited involvement, the court heard.

Ridden admitted in a police interview he had been selling driving licences with false information for the last ten years, charging around £1,500 per person, although the indictment was only for activity dating back to 2017.  

Childs was one of Ridden’s customers, who was trying to get him a driving licence with a false name of James Luck according to prosecutor Peter Gair.

A police search of Ridden’s house uncovered a clear plastic folder under a bed with eight applications for driving licences, which the prosecution say were fraudulent.

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 including Childs.

Defence barrister for Ridden, Lucy Sweetland, said his frankness during police interviews should be considered a mitigating factor in the sentencing.

Defence barrister for Wilson, Steven Dyble, said in mitigation that his client was in her early 70s and was struggling to make ends meet.

He added that the 73-year-ol up and until this offence had been a woman of good character.

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.