DVLA launch investigation into how banned killer driver was given new licence early

© DC Thomson
Halim Cholmeley appearing at Forfar Sheriff Court.

DVLA chiefs say they have mounted an inquiry into how a killer Tayside driver was issued with a new licence four years before his decade-long ban was due to end.

Angus recruitment consultant Halim Cholmeley was sent back behind bars on Monday for new offences which included driving while disqualified and failing to provide a breath specimen.

The 43-year-old had arranged a test drive of a £50,000 high-performance Audi SUV when he should have been off the road.

Forfar Sheriff Court heard he was able to drive it from the forecourt with the paperwork seemingly in order after a DVLA blunder meant he was issued with a new licence last June.

Yesterday, the agency said it was investigating how the mistake was allowed to happen.

Cholmeley, from Glen Prosen in rural Angus had previously been jailed for six years and disqualified for a decade in 2010 after a horror smash on Dundee’s Kingsway which resulted in the death of Perth man Gavin McCabe.

He was already disqualified and well over the drink-drive limit when he ploughed his BMW into Mr McCabe’s taxi in an apparent high-speed suicide bid.

Cholmeley was released from jail in 2013, but the driving licence blunder only emerged this week when a string of motoring-related offences caught up with him.

He has been sent back to prison for six months and disqualified for five years – which will take him around two years and three months beyond when his original 10-year ban should have expired.

Cholmeley’s solicitor told the court his client had mistakenly believed he could simply apply for a new licence after five years – and had even completed a medical before getting it back.

Lawyer William Boyle said: “Technically he could have petitioned the court after serving five years (of the ban). What he could not do was simply go to Swansea and ask for it back, and that seems to have been what he has done.

“He has a medical condition, passed the medical and because of an administration error he was actually granted a licence.”

A newly-ordered DVLA print out of Cholmeley’s driving record put before Sheriff Alison McKay on Monday disclosed a 2007 drink-drive offence, but not the serious 2010 conviction which led to his imprisonment.

When asked how the licence blunder had come about, a DVLA spokesman would only say: “We are investigating.”

Cholmeley is due to return to the dock in January to be sentenced on other charges including driving while disqualified and without insurance, breaching bail and obtaining a licence while disqualified.

A report into the possibility of him being fitted with an electronic tag has been ordered by the court.