Driver who crashed into tree claimed car had been stolen
A DRIVER who crashed his car into a tree and then told police it had been stolen has been a suspended jail term.
Plumber Sam Skidmore called police twice to say his Ford Fiesta had been taken after someone snatched his car keys, Bristol Crown Court heard.
After a courier spotted the crashed car and reported it to police, Skidmore was seen cutting an airbag from the vehicle which had his blood on.
Skidmore, 21, of Luckwell Road, Bedminster, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.
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The Recorder of Bristol His Honour Judge Neil Ford QC gave him the six-month suspended prison sentence as well as a six-month curfew, in which he must stay at home from 9pm to 5am, along with 200 hours of unpaid work and £535 court costs.
The judge told him: "Those who commit offences of this sort lose their liberty immediately.
"It is a very easy thing to say and others must be discouraged from acting in a similar manner.
"When you tell lies of this sort it puts the police to enormous inconvenience and cost."
Richard Posner, prosecuting, said a courier came upon an uprooted tree as he headed towards Bristol on Longwood Lane.
As he rounded a bend he saw Skidmore's abandoned car half on the road and half in the ditch, minus a wheel.
Skidmore was traced by the car registration number and his property, and it transpired he had twice reported the car as stolen.
Mr Posner said he told police someone must have taken his car keys from his pocket as he slept off a night's "insobriety".
Mr Posner told the court: "It wasn't true. He crashed the car. He perverted the course of justice by saying someone took it. We will never know if drink played a part."
The court heard Skidmore went to a car reclamation yard in Whitchurch to collect belongings from his car and cut out the driver's airbag, which had his blood on it.
Skidmore said he had cut himself that day, due to broken glass.
Catherine Spedding, defending, said: "He is still 21. He acted completely foolishly on the night in question. Thankfully no one was else was involved."
Ms Spedding said her client had made a false complaint to police and, once the complaint reached his mum, he stuck with it and it took on a life of its own.
She told the court: "He accepts he was completely wrong in the actions that he took."