Driving lesson

Firdaus Sheik was paid for driving lessons despite not being accredited in Dubbo | Liberal Daily

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An unlicensed driving instructor in Dubbo told authorities he only “mentored” people who rented his vehicle. Firdaus Sheik, came to the attention of Transport for NSW, after a complaint was made in July last year that he was an unaccredited driving instructor giving lessons to Dubbo students. The complaint accused the 39-year-old of teaching students how to drive his Toyota Yaris, for a monetary fee for approximately 12 months. Another previous complaint from May 2021 revealed that Sheik advertised his registered business, “Chautari Driving School” on social media. READ MORE COURT: Transport for NSW began investigating and spoke with a number of informants and former students who claimed to have been tutored by Sheik. Statements were obtained that showed Sheik instructed students for a $55 fee for a one-hour driving lesson, while not accredited. Sheik was interviewed by Transport for NSW and claimed he only hired the use of his vehicle to people and did not instruct them, but rather ‘mentor’ them. However, he told investigators that he had on one occasion received a “donation” from those who rented his vehicle and that he would receive money if people were happy with his “mentorship”. Asked about his driving school’s social media ad, Sheik told investigators he posted that he was starting one, but then deleted it. According to Transport for NSW, their registrations section received an application for a license to allow Sheik to train as a driving instructor in April 2021. However, court documents said that in November 2021, Transport for NSW n had not received the required documents from him to show that he had completed his training. According to court documents, checks of his vehicle showed that it had not been modified with dual controls. Last Wednesday in Dubbo Local Court, Sheik pleaded guilty to two counts of acting as an unlicensed driving instructor. Defense attorney Corey Suckling said his client was a person of good character and highly regarded, especially within the Nepali community of Dubbo. He said that during the COVID shutdowns, Sheik had offered a free delivery service to those in need who were unable to pick up their groceries. Mr Suckling said Sheik had now passed all the courses needed to obtain a licence, but argued that a conviction could jeopardize his ability to teach. Magistrate Stephen Olischlager considered Sheik’s first guilty plea and agreed that he should be given some sort of leniency for good character. However, he disagreed that the crime was fit for non-conviction. Sheik was found guilty and fined $1,500. He was also ordered to pay $500 in professional fees to Transport for NSW.