A driver from Worthing spent Christmas behind bars after perverting the course of justice in relation to a speeding offence, police said.
On 25 June 2017, a black BMW M3 activated two speed cameras in Sussex – it was caught travelling at 38mph in a 30mph zone on the A259 Marine Parade, Brighton, and at 72mph in a 60mph zone on the A24 at West Grinstead, police said.
Two separate Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) were sent to the registered keeper – Ozgur Uzum, 45, a fast food employee, of Salvington Road, Worthing, however they were both returned nominating another person from Hampshire, according to police.
Both NIPs were sent to the nominated driver but no response was received, said police.
Enquiries revealed this person had been nominated before, and it was confirmed the individual had been a victim of stolen identity, according to police.
In police interview, Uzum continued to deny the offences, however he later changed his plea to guilty after being shown an image from the A24 incident, which clearly showed him driving the vehicle in question, confirmed police.
The Crown Prosecution Service authorised two charges of perverting the course of justice, and at Lewes Crown Court on 10 December, Uzum was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment, said police.
He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge, police added.
Chris Raynor, of the Sussex Police Camera and Ticket Process Team, said: “This operation demonstrates that no matter how long it takes, we are determined to bring to justice those who break the law and put other road users’ lives at risk.
“What may appear to be a fairly low-level offence to some, is actually one which carries a maximum term of life imprisonment.
“Had these individuals admitted their wrongdoings in the first instance, they could have escaped with a fixed penalty notice of £100 and three point on their licence (for each offence); instead, they spent Christmas behind bars.”
Sussex Police launched Operation Pinocchio in 2016, aiming to improve safety on Sussex’s roads by tracing and prosecuting offenders who provide false information in an attempt to avoid prosecution.
It also aimed to prevent law-abiding motorists, who have been badly advised, from committing serious criminal offences by attempting to avoid speeding or red light offences, police said.
The offence of perverting the course of justice carries a maximum term of life imprisonment, added police.