- Lavin Hamasaeed had planned to cheat the test at a centre in Wolverhampton
- The 26-year-old glued a Bluetooth headpiece behind her ear before the test
- She also had a mobile phone she had concealed among her clothing
A learner driver has been spared jail after she tried to cheat the theory test by glueing a Bluetooth device into hair.
Lavin Hamasaeed had planned for a co-conspirator to listen in to oral questions and feed her answers.
But staff at a test centre in Wolverhampton discovered the earpiece which was linked to a hidden mobile phone.
Staff searched the 26-year-old and found the piece glued next to her left ear, which had been hidden by her thick black hair.
Learners can opt to take the test through headphones, rather than in a written form, if they have a reading difficulty, disability or health condition.
After arriving at the test centre, the mother-of-one signed a document declaring she had no hidden devices before she sat the test on 12 December 2018.
Hamasaeed, who came to the UK from Iraq in 2016 handed in a mobile phone and allowed staff to search her, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
She had a thick black head of hair and when that was checked an ear piece was discovered glued to the locks next to her left ear, revealed Ms Olivia Maginn, prosecuting on behalf of the Drver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
The defendant then produced another mobile phone that she had concealed among her clothing and was ‘married’ to the Bluetooth device close to her ear.
The set up allowed somebody on the outside to listen to the questions and relay back the correct answers to the person taking the test, the court heard. She was interviewed by investigators on April 16 and immediately admitted making fraudulent use of a phone.
How do Bluetooth cheats beat the driving theory test?
The driving theory test has two parts, the first of which involves a series of multiple choice questions about the Highway Code.
For example: You’ve been involved in an argument that has made you feel angry. What should you do before starting your journey?
- Open a window
- Turn on your radio
- Have an alcoholic drink
- Calm down
Other questions give you examples of common signs or road markings you might encounter while driving, or they may provide you with scenarios and ask you how you should react.
For the scam, the cheater has to use tiny Bluetooth earpieces linked to a hidden mobile phone. They can then hear someone from outside the test centre telling them information to help them pass the test.
The Bluetooth devices are generally hidden in glasses, headbands and hair-clips as they can be positioned over the ears with ease.
Test takers don’t usually wear headphones, but you are allowed to request them to complete the test with a voiceover if you have reading difficulties, so in some cases cheaters will use these to hide their Bluetooth device.
Mr Curtis Myrie, defending, said Hamasaeed came to this country from Iraq in 2016 and was granted a two-year residency which was replaced on expiry by a five-year UK residency.
He said that the defendant was going to college twice a week to improve her English while her husband cared for their two-year-old child. Both are in receipt of Universal Credit.
Hamasaeed from Derbyshire pleaded guilty to using a phone for fraud and was given an 18-week jail sentence suspended for 18 months with 120 hours unpaid work.
Judge Simon Ward told her: ‘You made a very determined attempt to cheat and if you had succeeded and got a driving licence it would have been very valuable to you. People must understand that if they cheat in the driving test they risk going to prison.
‘I am going to suspend your sentence because you have never been in trouble before, are making an effort to become part of the society of this country by learning to speak English and your daughter would suffer if you went into immediate custody.’
The case comes weeks after a learner driver in Oldham was convicted of fraud for using a Bluetooth device.
Abdulla Alanzi, 20, is believed to have hidden the tiny earpiece in his right ear in the hope of communicating with an accomplice outside who could relay correct answers to him over the phone.
However, the former Kuwaiti was caught after an invigilator in Oldham, Greater Manchester spotted him trying to hid the device under a set of headphones he was given to help translate questions. He was confronted but hid the ear piece in his sock and refused to hand it over.
Almost 1.8 million learners took the driving theory test last year, but less than half passed the exam.
The driving theory test consists of 50 multiple choice questions and a hazard perception video. The required pass mark is 43 out of the 50 questions and for learners to successfully identify a minimum of 44 hazards out of the 75 dangers that appear in the video clips.
In October the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said 1,522 people were investigated for cheating in their theory test in the financial year 2018/19 – more than triple the number caught five years ago.
Article courtesy of the Daily Mail