A fine mess
A man has been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to intending to pervert the course of public justice after his vehicle was caught speeding in Eastbourne.
David Mitchell, 68, of Caroline Way, Eastbourne, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Thursday 31 January to eight months’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months and unpaid work for 300 hours. He was also disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to pay costs of £1,200 within 60 days.
At an earlier hearing Mitchell had pleaded guilty to doing an act or acts tending and intending to pervert the course of public justice.
On December 26, 2011, Mitchell’s car activated a speed camera operated by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership at around 3.45pm in Langney Rise, Eastbourne.
After receiving a speeding notice Mitchell responded saying that it was not his vehicle and alleged that it had been cloned by someone who had fitted his number plates to another car. He supplied pictures of his car to be compared to the vehicle that had activated the camera.
Enquiries carried out by the Safety Camera Enquiry Team and East Sussex CID revealed that Mitchell had paid for another set of number plates, displaying the registration of his car which had been seen on the speed camera, to be made. The plates were requested on January 26, 2011, after the offence had taken place, but before he had responded to the speed notice claiming his car had been cloned.
Mitchell was arrested on April 28, 2012, and charged on August 29, 2012, with committing an act or series of acts with intent to pervert the course of public justice.
Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas of Sussex Police’s Road Policing Unit said: “This sentence is the result of a lot of hard work by the camera enforcement team and CID officers.
“Mitchell tried to deceive us into believing that his car had been cloned to avoid a fine and points on his licence as a result of speeding. Instead he has been convicted of the serious criminal offence of perverting the course of justice and been given a suspended prison sentence as a result.
“I hope this sentence sends a clear message to others to think twice about the consequences of their actions.”