A pioneering partnership between detectives and safety camera teams is hunting drivers who are trying to dodge justice by lying about speeding.
CID officers are investigating motorists who have been sent tickets after being caught breaking the speed limit but have then spun a story to try to hide their guilt.
So far seven drivers in Sussex have been convicted of perverting the course of justice –including two from Eastbourne – while a string of others are being investigated.
The partnership works by camera enquiry officers from Sussex Safer Roads Partnership putting together files on drivers who they believe could be lying to avoid speeding fines and points on their licences. The files are then passed to detectives who question the suspects and charge them if there is enough evidence that they are deliberately lying.
David Mitchell fitted new number plates to his car after he was sent a notice and claimed someone else must have the same registration details as him. The 69-year-old, of Caroline Way, was given an eight month suspended sentence, banned from driving for six months, told to do 300 hours of community service and ordered to pay £1,200 costs.
Lorraine Gowar had a second set of number plates made for her car after she was caught speeding and tried to claim someone must have cloned her car and set off the safety camera. The 33-year-old from Motcombe Lane, stuck to her lies in court but was convicted by a jury of perverting the course of justice and will be sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on December 6.
Inspector Chris Collins, from Sussex’s central ticket and summons unit, said, “We believe these drivers are just the tip of the iceberg and that many more motorists have lied about speeding and got away with it. We do not take the decision to prosecute drivers lightly and this is not about targeting motorists or pursuing people who have made genuine mistakes in their paperwork.”