Dizzy HGV driver loses 8K after court order

A disqualified drink-driver who drove a lorry using a duplicate licence has been ordered to relinquish over £8000 at court.

Danut Sabie, 32, of Wood Green, London, had obtained two separate driving licences – one in the name Sabie, and one in his birth name of Danut Costache.

In May 2014 he was convicted of drink driving (as Danut Costache), and banned from driving for 42 months. That same month he started a new job as a delivery driver, using the name and documents of Danut Sabie.

Officers from Surrey Police arrested Sabie in October 2015 when he was spotted behind the wheel of an articulated lorry at Frimley Business Park. In the HGV cab they found a holdall containing £8720, which Sabie told officers was money he’d saved from his salary as a professional delivery driver. The cash was seized and a court order was obtained for the police to hold onto the money until the outcome of his prosecution.

Following a series of court appearances, Sabie was convicted of driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Sabie was sentenced to two months custody (suspended for 24 months) with 60 hours unpaid work, 12 month driving disqualification and ordered to pay £200 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
Once the criminal case was complete, there was still the small matter of the big bag of cash in the safe at Staines police station!

Representing himself at Guildford Magistrates Court on 24 July, Sabie argued that the money was from various sources – including gifts from his family and savings from before he was banned from driving.

District Judge Ashworth didn’t believe his account, saying: “It is more than likely that the money in your cab on the 26th October came from your wages as a driver whilst you were disqualified.”

The judge granted the forfeiture of the cash, and then awarded costs of £1,082.35 against Sabie.