A couple ran off after crashing their company car – then rang the police claiming it had been stolen.
Leeds magistrates heard Andrew Lynch and Hallie Hirst smashed the BMW into a parked Citroen car on Green Hill Road, Bramley, sending the other vehicle through its owner’s garden fence.
They then fled and got a lift back to their home on Ganners Walk before concocting the story that the car had been stolen in an overnight burglary. The pair were arrested after a witness who had seen them running from the scene gave a description to investigating officers.
PC Graham Lawton said: “We treat every report of burglary very seriously and fully investigate the circumstances in an effort to catch those responsible.
“People are very naive if they think our enquiries won’t show when the things they are telling us don’t add up.”
The court heard how Lynch, 32, and Hirst, 29, had been at a funeral on November 22 last year. Hirst, who worked for a design company, was too drunk to get behind the wheel of her company car so Lynch tried to drive them home.
Magistrates were told they “panicked” after the crash because they were not sure if Lynch was insured. The following day they called the police. Hirst also rang her insurance company.
Prosecutor Alex Bozman said: “They reported that they had gone to bed and left a window open. They said the keys were left on a window sill and were allegedly taken.”
Hirst pleaded guilty to fraud and wasting police time. Lynch admitted failing to stop after the crash and failing to report it, no insurance and wasting police time.
Both were given 12-month community orders with 240 and 200 hours of unpaid work respectively.