Police officer tried to dodge Leeds speeding fines then lied about her BMW being stolen

A police officer twice caught speeding in her BMW in Leeds tried to get her brother to take the blame, then later lied about her car being stolen after it was involved in a chase.
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Jessica Verbruggen was a serving officer in Greater Manchester Police when her car was clocked breaking the limit twice on the same day on the A64 Leeds Road.

She then lied about her car being stolen after her boyfriend, who did not have a driving licence, took her car and became involved in a police pursuit through Harehills. He drove at such high speeds that officers eventually abandoned the chase in fear it could cause a crash.

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Verbruggen, 30, appeared at Leeds Crown Court today after she admitted two counts of perverting the course of justice and two of unauthorised access to computer material.

The court heard that her BMW was clocked speeding in autumn 2021. A message was later found on her phone asking someone to take the points on their licence because she already had six.

She then completed the Notices of Intended Prosecution (NIP) forms naming her brother as the driver. It raised suspicions at West Yorkshire Police who asked her to clarify the details. Again, she sent them back purporting to be from her brother.

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Another text message she later sent said she would pick up any documents that came to her brother from West Yorkshire Police. She said she would "bring money" in return. It was later found that her brother never even had a driving licence.

However, the car then became involved in the chase on November 2, 2021. The day after she reported that the BMW was stolen from outside a party she had attended and left her car because she got drunk.

Verbruggen, of Fold Green, Chadderton, Oldham, also used her police device to make checks on the vehicle which saw her partner was wanted on a warrant for the chase. It was the second time she had illegally used the software to check on her partner.

She was eventually arrested from her home on November 19, 2021, along with her partner. Cannabis was found at the property which belonged to her partner.

Verbruggen lied about speeding then later claimed her car had been stolen. (pic by National World)Verbruggen lied about speeding then later claimed her car had been stolen. (pic by National World)
Verbruggen lied about speeding then later claimed her car had been stolen. (pic by National World)
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A tracker on the car found that she had regularly travelled between Oldham and New Farnley, Leeds. Messages between her and her partner also contained evidence that she was clearly aware he had been involved in the police chase.

She was interviewed twice and twice gave no comments. Verbruggen has no previous convictions. She and her partner both denied any wrongdoing and were due to stand trial in December last year, before accepting guilt on several of the charges.

Mitigating, James Lake said Verbruggen had been of previous good character and committed the offences in a "short space of a few weeks". He described her as a "young woman with an incredibly bright future" having completed her degree, being accepted into the police and buying her first home.

However, she was diagnosed with Cushing's syndrome, a debilitating illness that led to her feeling suicidal. She then met her partner on a dating site in September 2021.

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Judge Kate Rayfield told her that perverting the course of justice "strikes at the heart of the criminal justice system" and only in "exceptional circumstances" could a sentence be suspended. She said that in her case, she would suspend the sentence because of her debilitating condition.

She gave her an 18-month sentence, suspended for 18 months. She also gave her 100 hours of unpaid work and 10 rehabilitation days. Her partner, Karl Simpkins, age 46, of Newton Square, New Farnley, will be sentenced at a later date.

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