A SLOVAKIAN minibus driver has been banned from driving almost three years after he was convicted of causing a crash and a string of driving offences.
Gabriel Simbik was convicted in his absence at Chester Magistrates Court on March 16, 2011, for driving without due care and attention, without a licence, failing to produce a licence, driving a vehicle without third party insurance, failing to provide a certificate of insurance and using a vehicle with the tyre plycord exposed.
Rob Youds, prosecuting at West Cheshire Magistrates Court, told how Simbik was driving a Ford Transit minibus on the A550 Welsh Road, near to the junction of Shotwick lights near Chester when he collided side on with a Ford Mondeo.
The minibus was carrying six passengers, none of whom were believed to have been injured, but a passenger in the Ford Mondeo suffered neck injuries as a result.
Mr Youds said the driver of the Mondeo had swerved to avoid collision but could not prevent the crash and police were called soon afterwards.
Simbik, of Earl Road, Liverpool, told police how, minutes before the impact, he had pulled in to a bus stop because the steering felt funny.
He claimed he had thought the road was clear when he later pulled out in to the path of the Mondeo.
Investigations revealed the vehicle’s power steering belt had slipped causing it to shudder.
Police made inquiries and found Simbik was insured to drive a vehicle with a maximum of eight seats. The minibus he was driving had 15 seats.
Simbik also failed to respond several requests by police to attend for interview, and he subsequently failed to attend his court hearing in October 2011, when he was convicted before the court.
Simbik said he did not receive correspondence telling him to attend court.
Simbik, a father who chose to represent himself at the court, said disqualification from driving would have an adverse effect as he drove to work every day.
Magistrates fined him £450, told him to pay £85 costs, a mandatory £45 victim surcharge and disqualified him from driving for six months. Simbik also had his driving licence endorsed.