A motorist who lied about being behind the wheel of a car caught speeding has been jailed for perverting the course of justice.
Nicholas Grout, 35, told police his mother was driving the BMW recorded doing 52mph on a 40mph road.
He maintained his account, putting police to extra work and subjecting his mother to police interviews, until it was obvious he was no longer telling the truth.
Exeter Crown Court was told that if he had admitted the truth to begin with he probably would have got away with a fine. He has now lost his good name, his job and his liberty for the sake of a lie that ‘just got bigger and bigger’.
Judge David Evans jailed him for two months.
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The speeding offence happened in Exeter on October 19 2019. Grout, the registered owner of the car, was sent a note of the intended prosecution for speeding.
He feared he might lose his licence as he already had nine points.
Judge Evans said: “If you had simply admitted it was you you might have received a fine and not been disqualified but you embarked on an attempt to deceive the authorities saying that, of all people, your mother had driven the speeding car.”
He added: “This was a deliberate and sustained attempt to deceive. You involved your own mother who was exposed to a police interview and a real possibility of prosecution.
“The police were put to significant effort interviewing your mother, a wholly innocent individual.”
He said there was no specific guidelines for perverting the course of justice or maximum sentence and he must follow the overarching principle of sentencing for such an offence. He said recent judgements made clear prison was the norm for this type of crime and a defendant would need exceptional mitigation to avoid jail.
“You have no offending history and are a man of good character and I except you are truly remorseful. You don’t need me to state the obvious, you knew that all of this was somewhat of a risk. I regret to say your mitigation does not meet the high degree of exceptionality.”
The defendant, of Bratton Clovelly, Okehampton, pleaded guilty to the offence at a previous hearing.
Mr William Parkhill, defending, said Grout was a responsible member of society who ran a security business employing a handful of people. He would now lose his licence and would have to find a new line of work.
“He has proved himself useful not just to society but also to those around him,” he said. The defendant’s mother suffers from cancer and his partner from MS.
“He needs to get back to work to pay off his debts to the family,” said Mr Parkhill. “It’s a lie that just got bigger and bigger.”