Jail for makeover motorist in speed camera sting
18th September 2006 | back to article listings BACK send this article to a friend via email SEND TO A FRIEND print this article PRINT

A speeding motorist went to desperate measures after being caught red-handed by a speed camera.

Sebastian Wensley of Callington, Cornwall admitted that he'd changed the appearance of his car after being snapped nearly 30mph over the speed limit by a speed camera on the A30 at Indian Queens in Cornwall.

The 22-year-old driver pleaded guilty to a charge of perverting the course of justice. He told a hearing at Plymouth Crown Court that he had admitted to change the appearance of his car, most notably by painting two white stripes down the front, in an attempt to claim that it was not the same car seen in the photo.

The man, who is a student at Plymouth University, was given a three month prison sentence on September 13th, suspended for one year. In addition he has been banned from driving for three months, after being snapped at 97mph in a 70mph zone, and ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid community service. He must also pay 700 costs.

Pointing out several supposed differences between the vehicles, Mr Wensley attempted to convince police that his number plates had been cloned, claiming in addition that he was not even driving his car at the time shown on the speed camera image.

However, police realised he was lying when it emerged that the white stripes on the bonnet were freshly applied. Defence barrister Ali Rafati admitted that "this was a particularly stupid thing to do", the BBC reports.

Mr Rafati added: "In cases like these once the ball starts rolling in terms of lies the decision to come clean is perhaps more difficult."

Pc Duncan Russell, of the Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership, told the BBC: "The message from the court today is very clear - anybody convicted of an offence such as this could face the real possibility of a custodial sentence."

Mr Wensley is not the first motorist driven to drastic measures in an attempt to evade speed camera evidence.

Earlier this month, Craig Moore, 28, was jailed for attempting to blow-up a camera that had flashed him in Hyde area of Greater Manchester. The railway worker used an explosive normally used on train lines to blow up the camera, but the force of the explosion triggered the mechanism, taking a picture of him in the act.

Additionally, in July, John Hopwood of Hazel Grove, Stockport was jailed after experts proved that he had swapped road signs in a bid to avoid a speeding fine.

After being snapped at 41 mph on a 30mph road, he stole a sign from a 40mph zone and attached it on the first road. He then took a picture of the sign in its new position in a bid to "prove" to the safety camera partnership that he did not deserve a speeding fine.