Cambridgeshire man jailed after changing car licence plates to try and avoid five separate speeding fines
A driver who was caught speeding on five different occasions and tried to cover his tracks by changing his registration plates has been given a six month prison sentence.
Deon Thomas, 24, was caught by speed cameras twice on the A14 at Bar Hill and three times further afield in Cheshire, Lancashire and London.
Just before 10pm on 21 February this year, he was driving his BMW over the speed limit on the M6 in Cheshire.
A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) was issued which Thomas replied to, claiming his vehicle registration had been cloned. He then changed the registration plates on his BMW, Cambridge Crown Court heard.
However, just two hours after the first speeding offence Thomas’ car was caught by a speed camera again, on the A14 at Bar Hill.
This time, Thomas said he had sold his car. That same day (22 February) he was caught speeding for a third time in the same location.
A month later, on March 23, Thomas was caught speeding for the fourth time, on the A565 in Lancashire, but kept up his lie to police, claiming his car had been cloned.
He sent photos of his car with a different registration plate – the same photos he had sent to Cheshire Constabulary.
Thomas was caught speeding for a fifth time on the A406 in London - and again he misled the police.
It was only when two police officers investigated a report of criminal damage to a different car that Thomas came to the attention of the force again.
On 2 August, the two officers were told that Thomas’ BMW had been seen driving away from the offence location.
They located the car and whilst standing by it, saw Thomas approach.
He was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage but no charges were brought, however, the BMW was uninsured and seized.
It was displaying the pressed metal number plates shown in the images submitted to Cheshire and Lancashire Constabularies and a second set of number plates were discovered in the boot, which matched the speeding offences in Cheshire, Cambridgeshire and Lancashire.
Police searched Thomas’ home and found a V5C registration certificate showing him as the registered keeper.
Thomas, of Ashfield Road in Cambridge, pleaded guilty to five counts of perverting the course of justice at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday (7 September).
He was sentenced to a total of six months in prison and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
PC Chris Hepworth said: "I hope this sentence serves as warning to those drivers who think they can provide false details, anticipating that it won't be followed up.
"We deal with a vast number of speeding offences and thankfully the majority of people comply with the requirements and sign up to those offences and take their punishment, whether it be a speed awareness course, points on their licence and a fine or a court hearing."