A “thoroughly dishonest” banned driver whose lies added to already lengthy court delays for victims of rapists and other criminals, has been jailed.

Deniz Altin, 23, forged an email from a local solicitor and tried to deceive staff at York Crown Court with fake tales of needing life-saving surgery after police spotted him driving despite being banned, said Brooke Morrison, prosecuting.

Several court hearings later, Altin has been jailed for two offences of perverting the course of justice and one each of driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris told Altin: “You are a thoroughly dishonest man. If you had the slightest inkling of the inconvenience you have caused to solicitors, barristers and the courts where we are having to deal with rape cases that are being delayed by people like you.”

Some crown courts are already listing trials for 2026 because all their potential trial dates in 2024 and 2025 have already been filled.

The delays facing rape victims as they wait to give evidence against their alleged rapists are now so long that the country’s top judges have had to introduce special protocols to try and get the trials started more quickly.

Altin, of Friars Walk, Heworth, pleaded guilty to two charges of perverting the course of justice and one each of driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance. He was jailed for 13 months and banned from driving for 18 months.

He already had two convictions for driving whilst disqualified, resisting a police officer and driving without insurance for which he was given a 12-month community order. But he failed to do the order and in August 2021, he was again convicted of driving whilst disqualified and without insurance. The community order was revoked and he was jailed for all offences.

Ms Morrison said police called Altin in for an interview after he was spotted driving on garage CCTV.

He attended the interview on May 12, 2022, with an email he claimed he had received from his solicitor stating that his driving ban was over.

But the police officer quickly realised the email was fake. Altin initially denied perverting the course of justice, but changed his mind on the day of his trial after two days of court time had been set aside for it.

He was due to be sentenced in November, but a week beforehand, he sent an email to York Crown Court claiming he couldn’t attend because he was in Turkey having surgery for a life-threatening condition. He attached evidence of a flight booked for November 27 which he said was the earliest he could travel.

But on November 17, he attended a hearing at York Crown Court and was remanded while police investigated his second set of lies.

For Altin, Eleanor Fry said: “He accepts he has been stupid.”

He had genuinely believed he had finished his driving ban and the solicitor email was unsophisticated, the court heard.  He was contemplating surgery - for cosmetic purposes. 

He was young and immature. Being remanded in prison had been “life-changing” for him as he had missed Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Mother’s Day with his close-knit family.