March man who claimed £40,000 Aston Martin Vantage was stolen after friend crashed it into ditch avoids jail
PUBLISHED: 16:00 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:00 19 June 2017
A March man who tried to claim his £40,000 Aston Martin Vantage had been stolen after his friend crashed it into a ditch has avoided jail.
James Hart, 68, allowed a friend to drive his black sports car, which he had bought for more than £40,000, on March 4 last year.
However, the car was crashed and abandoned on the bank of a dyke in March Road, near Wisbech, where it was later found by police.
As the friend was on his own insurance policy, he was only covered third party and when Hart tried to claim on his own insurance he was told he was not covered.
Hart, of West End, March, then called police and reported it stolen.
He was arrested for perverting the course of justice, which he pleaded guilty to last month.
On Friday at Cambridge Crown Court, Hart was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, ordered to undertake 25 days of rehabilitation activity, had a curfew imposed on him (6pm to 6am) for four months and was ordered to pay £1,200 in costs.
PC Matt Smart said: “Hart has not gone to prison but he will have the prospect of prison hanging over him for two years, as well as the curfew and costs.
“He took a risk and when it went wrong he tried to get out of it by lying. However, there was clear evidence the car had not been stolen.
“We have had other cases where people have falsely claimed their cars have been stolen so I hope this demonstrates how seriously it is treated.”
Perverting the Course of Justice
It can only be tried on indictment and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The offence is committed where a person:
• does an act (a positive act or series of acts is required; mere inaction is insufficient);
• which has a tendency to pervert; and
• which is intended to pervert the course of public justice.
All the prosecution needs to prove is that there is a possibility that what the complainant has done “without more” might lead to a wrongful consequence.