Driver comes unstuck in chewing gum ruse

The A64
The A64

A dodgy driver tried to duck a speeding fine by sending police photos of a camper van that was not his with his own licence plate stuck on it with chewing gum.

Dean Pearson, aged 51 from Newbold in Derbyshire, was captured driving a Mercedes Sprinter van at 70mph on Saturday August 13 on the A64 Malton by-pass.

Pearson's actual van

Pearson's actual van

The classification of the vehicle he was driving meant that he was recorded at 10mph over the limit.

After receiving the speeding notification from North Yorkshire Police, Pearson alleged that his vehicle had been converted to a motorhome and thus was able to travel at the alleged 70mph recorded speed. He challenged the offence by sending photographs through to the Traffic Bureau team, as evidence of the vehicle’s conversion.

On inspection of the pictures, the eagle-eyed officer at North Yorkshire Police spotted a few inconsistencies between the images of the vehicle Pearson was captured speeding in and the images of the vehicle he had submitted as evidence.

For one – the livery markings from the bonnet and side of the van had seemed to completely disappear, the grille of the van was a different colour and most significantly, the number plate of the speeding van seemed to be stuck over another number plate.

The van he submitted a picture of

The van he submitted a picture of

When an officer visited Pearson as his home address in Derbyshire and challenged him over the pictures, he admitted that he had stuck his number plate over another vehicles registration plate using a piece of chewing gum. He also admitted to visiting a local motorhome dealer and taking pictures of the interior of a similar vehicle - alleging that it was the inside of his vehicle

Pearson was charged with perverting the course of justice and the original speeding offence and received a 28 day prison sentence at York Crown Court, last week.

Speaking about the case, the investigating officer Traffic Constable Andy Forth said: “Pearson went to great lengths to mislead North Yorkshire Police.

“As a result of his actions, he has ended up with a much harsher penalty than if he had admitted the original speeding offence. Pearson believed he was above the law and that he could lie his way out of any consequence of his actions.”

The number plate stuck across with chewing gum

The number plate stuck across with chewing gum

“North Yorkshire Police Traffic Bureau take the matter of road safety very seriously. The roads that the mobile safety camera vehicles are deployed to are locations that we know through intelligence and data, have experienced a high number of collisions – some of them fatal.

“This is why we investigate any challenge or appeal to an offence thoroughly.

“If an individual chooses to travel in excess of the speed limit and then tries to evade the penalty by deceiving the police, we will ensure that we do everything in our power to bring this person to justice.”

At his sentencing defence barrister, Georgina Goring said Pearson admitted he had been “an absolute idiot”.

“He did this because (a speeding penalty) would have had an impact on his insurance and, as he drives for a living, that impact would be significant,” she added.

But judge Andrew Stubbs QC told Pearson: “This was a persistent attempt to pervert the course of justice. Your response to the notice of intended prosecution was to lie. When police came to see you, you knew the game was up.”