Minicab Driver caught speeding and jumping red lights at Gatwick claimed non-existent man was at fault

A minicab driver who lied about speeding and driving through red lights repeatedly near Gatwick Airport over six years by claiming it was a man supposedly living in Cyprus who was at fault, has escaped jail.

Erkan Mustafa committed driving offences around Gatwick on several occasions between 2009 and 2015.

At the time he was running a private hire and chauffeur business called Merc Transfers.

On each occasion, Mustafa falsely nominated a man who supposedly lived in Cyprus as the driver but when police investigated they could find no evidence of this man ever existing.

Mustafa was subsequently charged with committing a series of acts with intent to pervert the course of justice.

The 62-year-old, of Wolverton Gardens, in Horley, Surrey, pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court on July 8 and was sentenced to 35 weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £670 costs.

Sussex Police have only published the results of the investigation and court case this week.

As a result of Mustafa’s conviction, police are urging all licensed drivers in the county to be honest about camera offences to avoid a criminal record.

In the majority of cases, motorists caught by safety cameras are eligible for either a National Speed Awareness Course or national What’s Driving Us course – currently four hours long at a cost of £85 in Sussex.

Those not eligible or who choose not to attend a course end up either with a fixed penalty of £100 and three penalty points or going to magistrates’ court.

Paul Gray, of the Sussex Police Central Ticket Summons Unit (CTSU), said: “The level of information involved in incidents of perverting the course of justice can vary greatly from slight to in-depth, but in all cases is premeditated; Sussex Police has no desire to prosecute people who make genuine mistakes.

“However, drivers should be mindful that we will investigate these offences and prosecute where necessary. If you are prepared to lie to us, then prepare to be caught out and face the consequences.”