Jail for drink driver who tried to persuade others to take the blame

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  • Driver stopped by police while drunk
  • Asked three other people to say they had been behind the wheel
  • ‘Everyone must be aware of Chris Huhne case’ says judge
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A JUDGE has slammed a man who tried to persuade people to take the blame for his drink driving as he jailed him for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Judge Stuart Baker said “everyone in the country” would be aware of the case of MP Chris Huhne and his wife Vicky Pryce, who were each jailed for eight months after Pryce took the speeding points clocked up by Huhne.

People who set about trying to cheat their way out of the consequences of criminal conduct can expect to receive a severe punishment

But when Steven Hunt, 36, was caught drink driving, he tried to persuade three other people to say they had been behind the wheel of his car, before eventually pleading guilty to the offence.

Preston Crown Court heard Hunt, who gave his address as Hunters Lodge Hotel, Charnock Richard, near Chorley, was seen driving in the village in a manner which caught the attention of police officers. They followed him onto the car park of the Hunters Lodge Hotel and when he was spoken to he appeared to be drunk. He was arrested and checked into police custody but when he appeared before Chorley magistrates he claimed he was not behind the wheel on the night of the offence and tried to blame another driver.

He eventually pleaded guilty to drink-driving but in the time between his arrest he had 
approached numerous friends and family members and given the court the names of three different people he said was at the wheel.

Judge Baker, sentencing, said: “Around that time a former MP and his ex-wife were jailed. That case attracted a lot of publicity. They were prosecuted for an offence where he tried to avoid having points put on his licence. Everyone in the country must have been aware of it.

“People who set about trying to cheat their way out of the consequences of criminal conduct can expect to receive a severe punishment.

“If everybody accused of driving with excess alcohol thought they could wriggle out of it by putting another name forward, roads would be full of motorists driving when they shouldn’t be. It is a very serious offence. You made persistent, repeated attempts to try and get others to take the blame for you.”

He jailed Hunt for eight weeks.