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Heathfield male charged with perverting the course of justice

Alert message sent 17/08/2019 06:11:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Thursday 15th August 2019

News and Lewes

Speeding driver paid his friend £1,000 to take the blame for traffic offences.

A man who lied about three speeding offences – and paid his friend £1,000 to take the blame for two of them – has been jailed.

Terry Adams was caught travelling at 37mph in the same 30mph zone on three separate occasions in 2018.

He was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) following an incident in Hailsham Road, Heathfield, on 28 October, and he nominated another driver who knew nothing about it.

Previous to this, he nominated his friend Lee Surridge for two speeding offences committed at the same site on 15 May 2018. Surridge attended a Speed Awareness Course for one and was given a fine for the other.

However, further police enquiries – including photographic evidence – revealed Adams was in fact the driver responsible for all three offences. It also emerged he had paid Surridge £1,000 to take the blame for two of them.

Both men were subsequently arrested on 20 May 2019 and taken into custody.

The suspects were charged with perverting the course of justice and pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court on Friday 2 August.

Adams, 49, a butcher, of Burwash Road, Heathfield, was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment for each offence, to run concurrently. He was also disqualified from driving for 17 months and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Surridge, 51, a butcher, of Bexhill Road, St Leonards, was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment – suspended for 12 months – and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, and pay £500 costs and a £140 victim surcharge. His earlier guilty plea was taken into account on sentencing.

Adams and Surridge are among numerous people to be convicted as part of Operation Pinocchio, which was launched by Sussex Police in 2016 with the following aims:
  • To improve safety on Sussex’s roads by tracing and prosecuting offenders who provide false information in an attempt to avoid prosecution;
  • And to prevent law-abiding motorists, who have been badly advised, from committing serious criminal offences by attempting to avoid speeding or red light offences.

Chris Raynor, of the Sussex Police Camera and Ticket Process Team, said: “This case shows how some people are prepared to avoid their responsibilities for speeding offences at all costs. They involve other people in their attempt to avoid prosecution, including nominating innocent people, and have little regard for the problems it causes.”
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Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden team (Police, Prevention team, Sussex)

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