Driver avoids jail after lying to police by claiming thieves crashed his car into lamppost
- Credit: Archant
A driver has avoided going straight to jail for perverting the course of justice by falsely reporting a courtesy car stolen after crashing it into a lamppost.
Vishanu Bhaskaran was handed a suspended prison sentence at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday afternoon.
The 42-year-old, of Mill Road, Colchester, had previously pleaded guilty to committing an act, or series of acts, with intent to pervert the course of public justice.
The court heard that Bhaskaran falsely reported an Audi A3 stolen after crashing it into a lamppost at the corner of Laurence Byrne Avenue and Warren Lane, in Colchester, at about 5.30am on August 4 last year.
Tom Worden, prosecuting, said the vehicle had been leased to Bhaskaran while his work van was being repaired.
He said the owner of the Audi, who had sold Bhaskaran the van, was left £1,200 out of pocket as a result of being unable to claim insurance for the crash.
Bhaskaran, whose DNA was found on the driver-side airbag, failed to attend a police interview but was later arrested for other matters and later charged with perverting the course of justice.
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The court heard that Bhaskaran had six previous convictions for 17 offences, including, dangerous driving and drink-driving, for which he received a community order with unpaid work and a 28-month disqualification on March 23 this year.
Sasha Bailey, mitigating, said she accepted that the offence crossed the custody threshold, but asked the court to suspend any term of imprisonment.
Recorder Gabrielle Jan Posner said that a pre-sentence report by the probation service suggested Bhaskaran was beginning to address his problems in a meaningful way.
"You didn't cover yourself in glory with this offence," she told him.
"I personally feel most sorry for the person whose car it was.
"Perverting the course of justice is a serious offence, but I'm satisfied, in the round, that the right thing to do is impose a short custodial sentence, suspended, so that you know there's only one way you're going if you foul up."
Bhaskaran was handed a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 60 hours of unpaid work and 30 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.