Driver paid mechanic to avoid points on licence
A MOTORIST caught going through a red light paid a mechanic to say he was driving to avoid points on his licence, a court heard.
Nicholas Evans, aged 30, was spotted making a prohibited right turn by a police officer and asked Aaron Smith to say he was behind the wheel, Plymouth Crown Court was told.
But the plotters were quickly caught out when Smith in turn asked his mother to declare she was the driver on a police form – because the officer had clearly seen a man driving.
Evans, of Bellingham Crescent, Plympton, and 29-year-old Smith, of Moulton Close, Plympton, admitted jointly doing acts tending and intending to pervert the course of justice between January 24 and February 8 this year.
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His 52-year-old mother Dawn Smith, of the same address, denied the charge. No evidence was offered and judge Paul Darlow recorded a "not guilty" verdict.
David Gittins, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said police spotted a man driving an Audi car from Mutley Plain into Houndiscombe Road at 10.45pm on January 20. The car went through a red light and a "no right turn" sign.
He added officers could not stop the car but got the licence plate number and sent a notice through the post to the registered keeper – Evans's partner.
Mr Gittins said police launched an investigation when the form came back filled in by another woman, Dawn Smith.
He said Mrs Smith told police her son, who ran a garage, informed her she was driving the car at the time and she could not remember one way or the other.
Mr Gittins said Aaron Smith told police in interview that Nicholas Evans had paid him £250 to "take the points".
He said Smith then gave the money to his mother because she had "money problems" and asked her to fill in the form. Evans himself admitted his part in the plot, the court heard.
He is already serving a 50-month prison sentence imposed in March for dealing cocaine.
Kelly Scrivener, for Aaron Smith, who has no previous convictions, said: "This is his first mistake and is likely to be his only one. He is genuinely remorseful.
"He is a hard-working young man who holds down two jobs. He is a respectable young man who made a grave error of judgement."
Ali Rafati, for Evans, said the car was registered to his wife and was at the garage over that period.
He added he just "wanted the problem to go away" but had not realised how serious the offence was.
Judge Darlow gave Evans a three-month prison sentence, to be served after the completion of his current jail term, which will not end until at least April 2014.
He also handed Aaron Smith a three-month prison sentence, but suspended it for two years. Smith must carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.