We love a good story of man versus the system. Everyone loves the underdog. In real life, of course, the bad guys tend to win. Sometimes that’s ok of course, because the underdog is a right royal pain in the ass.
Once upon a time (2009 to be precise) Ashley X, a London motorist, got a speeding ticket for going 67mph in a 50 mph zone. Rather than just paying up, he launched a 5 year campaign through the courts to get out of it, concluding on 24th April 2015 when he was sent to prison for 9 months.
Ashley X is, now, his real name – he’s changed his name by deed poll, which perhaps gives a flavour of his level of co-operation, did not want to pay the £60 fine and take the 3 penalty points. But rather than just sucking it up and complaining down the pub about it all, he did everything he could, legal and illegal, to get out of it.
It’s not completely clear, but it seems Mr X at first refused to state that he was driving and faked a letter from someone claiming that he was Mr X’s cousin and that it was them driving. This seems to have given rise to a charge of perverting the course of justice.
He had been charged with failing to notify the details of the driver and was convicted of this in the magistrates’ court (and the appeal dismissed). During this, presumably, he gave evidence on oath that he wasn’t the driver. This gave rise to a charge of perjury.
Mr X seems to have finally thrown in the towel and accepted his guilty, pleading guilty to those offences. He was sentenced to nine months.
There are no guidelines for these offences, but they will almost always lead to an immediate prison sentence. Where it involves speeding points (see the Chris Huhne case for example) it tends to be a sentence in the range of 6-12 months.
Here, there would be credit for a plea of guilty, so this would give a sentence of about 12 months. Although that is obviously a long one, I don’t think that Mr X could have complained if it had been longer. They were serious offences that undermine how the system works. A salutary lesson for Mr X.