Prison sentences for two drivers who lied about speeding
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Two motorists who lied about speeding have successfully avoided a fine – and instead been handed prison sentences and a criminal record.
In two recently-concluded investigations, the drivers could have got away with a £100 fine and three points on their licence had they admitted their offences at the first opportunity.
But instead they fabricated stories, leading to convictions for perverting the course of justice.
CASE 1: On 28 November 2019, a white Vauxhall Vivaro was caught travelling at 45mph in a 30mph zone in Madeira Drive, Brighton.
A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) was sent to the registered keeper: Matthew Wood, 32, of Withyham Avenue, Saltdean.
Wood claimed he was not at fault, insisting his vehicle had a roof rack not seen in the camera images, and suggested his number plates must have been cloned.
A police investigation was launched which disproved his theory, and Wood was arrested. The original plates as shown in the camera images were found in the back of his van.
At Lewes Crown Court on 12 August, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. He is also required to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £122 in costs.
CASE 2: On 14 November 2019, a white Mercedes E-Class was caught travelling at 37mph in a 30mph zone in Lewes Road, Brighton.
A NIP was sent to the registered keeper, who nominated the driver as Ahmad Rastinsani, 55, of Mackie Avenue, Brighton.
Rastinsani nominated another person, but investigations revealed he was working as a taxi driver in the area around the time of the offence.
He eventually admitted the offence, and at Lewes Crown Court on 3 August, he was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay £122 costs.
Chris Raynor, of the Sussex Police Camera and Ticket Process Team, said: “It is clear that both drivers purposely provided false information in order to avoid prosecution. It’s not the first time we have seen this sort of behaviour and unfortunately it won’t be the last.
“Some people try their luck, thinking they’ll be able to avoid the fine. But they actually end up with a criminal conviction for a very serious offence, which could affect things like their insurance, future employment opportunities, and travel to countries including America and Australia.
“By lying about their offences, they have wasted valuable police time and resources.”
Operation Pinocchio was launched by Sussex Police in 2016 with the following aims:
- To improve safety on Sussex’s roads by tracing and prosecuting offenders who provide false information in an attempt to avoid prosecution;
- And to prevent law-abiding motorists, who have been badly advised, from committing serious criminal offences by attempting to avoid speeding or red light offences.