Man faces motoring fine from English city he's never visited

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A LIVINGSTON man fined for driving uninsured in a city he has never even visited says he has been mistaken for someone with an identical name and date of birth.

David Lee, 45, received a letter from the DVLA last Friday saying he had been given six penalty points and fined 50 for driving with no insurance in Southampton.

But Mr Lee, who is registered disabled, claims he has never driven in the English city.

And he said it is the second time he has been mistaken for a man from Reading with the same name and birthday.

The Livingston father's benefits were stopped in 1993 because his 'double' was claiming benefits in England, having been given the same national insurance number.

Social security bosses described it as a "million-to-one mix-up" – but now Mr Lee has found himself facing a similar problem.

He has been told by the DVLA he faces having his licence suspended if he does not take action, despite explaining the situation to them and police.

"I'm at my wits' end with this," he said. "It's got to the point where I don't want to be in my own house just now in case the police come to arrest me for something. What if this was for attempted murder or something?

"I got a letter saying I must send my driving licence after I had pleaded guilty at Southampton Magistrates Court on Monday.

"I've never been near Southampton.

"I also had to give a description of myself to police, but even then they still wouldn't entertain me. They just told me to contact the court, which I did, and now I have to appeal the conviction.

"How can I appeal something that I haven't been convicted of in the first place?

"I don't have any points on my licence. All I'm getting from people is that I am guilty. What if I had six points on my licence? I would be banned. My car is my lifeline because I'm registered disabled – it's how I can get everyday things done."

A spokesman for the DVLA said the organisation would not comment on individual cases, but added that the wrong details could have been sent by the court, which has happened before.

He added that an investigation was under way.

"The DVLA says there is only one man registered with my name and date of birth and that's me," said Mr Lee. "But police say the man who was charged does have the same details and that he's from South Africa with a Reading PO Box as an address.

"It's a bit of a coincidence that the last problem I had was with someone from Reading.

"I don't think the guy is trying to steal my identity or anything. I think it's a big mix-up and I'm angry that I'm having to do all the legwork to clear my name when it's nothing at all to do with me."

Hampshire Police said they were looking into the matter.