A motorist who created an extraordinary web of deceit to avoid a speeding ticket has been jailed for 12 months.
Christopher Henry, 52, of Church Road, Weston-on-the-Green claimed a Frenchman with the same name as a famous wax museum in Paris was driving, after he was caught speeding by a mobile camera on the A343 Newbury Road in Hampshire in February 2016. He also doctored documents and blamed a second mystery man on the Isle of Lewis, to dodge the speeding offence.
But after a two-year investigation by Hampshire Police, Henry was found guilty of three counts of perverting the course of justice by a jury, and was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on Wednesday.
Henry had been driving his ex-wife’s Freelander when he was caught speeding, but rather than accept the £100 fine and three points on his driving licence when the ticket was sent to his ex-wife, the registered owner, he intercepted the mail and completed the paperwork in her name, claiming a French man, living at his address, was the driver and the new owner.
Paperwork sent to the French national was returned claiming a man from the Isle of Lewis called George Harris was the driver and officers contacted Interpol when they could find no record of either man.
Interpol found the name of the French man was the same as that of a wax museum in Paris, and his address was a nearby hotel. Enquiries with the hotel showed a Mr Musee had never stayed or worked there and officers also spoke to the post mistress on Lewis, who knew nothing of a Mr Harris, Mr Musee or Henry.
Henry’s fingerprints were found on the paperwork and the Frenchman’s name had also been given to Avon and Somerset Police when an Audi TT registered to Henry was caught speeding in August later the same year.
Henry, who denied having driven or had any access to the Freelander, was caught when officers got voice recordings of him calling the AA out when he broke down in the Freelander.
The court was given evidence showing Henry had also provided false dates of sale to the DVLA, set up a false email address and doctored emails from insurers. The jury took 40 minutes to find him guilty.