A 38-year-old woman has been found guilty and jailed after trying to fake her own death to avoid a driving conviction. A resident of Kensington, central London, Zoe Bernard, was arrested for reckless driving, without insurance and failing to stop somewhere in Kilburn in November 2020. For further legal proceedings, Zoe stopped posed as Shanice Bernard, her sister, and claimed that “Zoe” was dead. She even asked for a death certificate to make her claims believable. The avoidance of court began when, at the time of forfeiture in November 2020, she identified herself as Kyesha Bernard to police. This confusion of names delayed the legal proceedings. Then, in December 2020, she started impersonating Shanice and claimed that Zoe had died. The following month she applied for a death certificate from the Westminster Register Office, which was an unsuccessful attempt to bolster her claims since no deaths had been recorded at that time.
“The investigator wrote to Ms. Bernard asking her to come to the police station for an interview, and he says he was contacted on several occasions between November 15, 2020 and January 7, 2021, by a person calling himself Shanice Bernard and claiming to be Zoe Bernard’s sister,” prosecutor Gregor McKinley said, as reported by Mirror.
Zoe’s defense attorney, Margo Munro Kerr, claimed that Zoe was a survivor of police sexual abuse and suffered from sickle cell disease. Taking this into account, Kerr argued that the prison sentence, in such a case, would be very traumatic for Zoe. Then, addressing the death certificate, Kerr said that Zoe requested a death certificate because she felt suicidal and that the death certificate request was nothing more than preparations.
The court bench ignored the arguments put on the table by Zoe’s defense and said it was “such a strange way to go”. Finding that Zoe had “very little respect for the workings of the law”, the court slapped her with charges.
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