Camera group warns speeding fraudsters
By Charis Mastris

DORSET Safety Camera Partnership has warned it will not tolerate anyone trying to dodge a speeding offence after a man was jailed for claiming someone else was driving his car.

Terence Burke, 50, from Middleton, Greater Manchester, claimed a South African man was driving his red BMW when it was caught by speed cameras four times.

He later confessed to lying on the forms and admitted four charges of perverting the course of justice to Bolton Crown Court, where he was jailed for two months.

Dorset Safety Camera Partnership welcomed the sentencing.

Operations project manager Johnny Stephens said: "The partnership would like to emphasise that it takes the offence of perverting the course of justice very seriously.

"Any details given that raise suspicion are checked against our various databases and records to ensure that the real perpetrator of the offence is caught. Action will be taken against those found to have given false information.

"Perverting the course of justice is a serious criminal offence and persons who are caught committing this crime will be dealt with accordingly through the criminal justice system."

Burke, an HGV driver, was caught speeding four times between November 2004 and September last year and told police an old friend, Donald Jardine, who was living in South Africa, was driving the car.

Police then wrote to Mr Jardine at an address in Johannesburg, but received no reply.

After the third ticket, officers asked Mr Burke to provide Mr Jardine's insurance details.

He was interviewed in May this year and confessed to inventing Mr Jardine, the court heard.

Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, said the punishment should remind all drivers that there is no benefit in seeking to avoid a speeding ticket.

"This judgement shows that all drivers need to think carefully," he said.

"It is not right for anyone to think they can be above the law."

12:15pm Saturday 11th November 2006