A THURGOONA driving instructor had his licence cancelled by NSW Roads and Maritime Services after he was accused of making R-rated suggestions to female learners.
One former learner claimed Luke James Rofe, pictured, asked her to “show her boobs”, a court has been told.
Rofe’s licence cancellation in January came after police received information from two former students.
He was notified by letter that the cancellation came into force on January 17 and he had to hand his licence to the nearest registry within three days.
It was suggested by the authority that Rofe might not be a fit and proper person to work as a driving instructor.
He surrendered his licence the following day but lodged an appeal against the cancellation and denied any inappropriate behaviour with the former students.
The roads authority outlined in documents tendered in Albury Local Court the nature of complaints by the two learners.
One said, when taking a lesson last September, Rofe asked how much she earned and whether she wanted to make an easy $20.
When questioned how, Rofe replied: “You can show me your boobs.”
She replied: “No, that is so bad. That is wrong.”
Rofe suggested it was “a bit of fun” but the student said it was embarrassing.
Later Rofe made another request to see her “boobs”.
He then asked her not to tell anyone about the conversation.
The other student complained about Rofe being over-bearing and telling her stories including details of one woman learner apparently wearing a dressing gown and being naked underneath.
Rofe, 37, of Warbler Street, was recently charged by police with two counts of acting as a driving instructor while unlicensed and yesterday pleaded guilty.
Barrister Christine Mendes represented him and told magistrate Tony Murray the appeal against the cancellation was being withdrawn.
Ms Mendes said Rofe had been operating his business, Ls to Ps Driving School, for six months and the licence ban was a catastrophe for him financially.
“He is now in a position where he must sell his business,” Ms Mendes said.
The court was told Rofe handed in his licence on January 18 but picked up a student the same day.
He took another lesson on February 1 and allowed the learner to borrow his car.
Ms Mendes said Rofe took the lessons through a partial ignorance of the law.
Mr Murray said it was his view Rofe deliberately breached the licence cancellation.
“You were aware you were not supposed to be doing it,” Mr Murray said.
He said when imposing fines of $400 on each charge there was significant public interest to ensure that driving instructors have the appropriate licence.