New Year’s Eve drunk driver lied about theft

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A drunk driver crashed his car after a New Year’s Eve party then lied to police that the vehicle had been stolen in burglary.

Charles Wright, 45, was jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice over the incident in Wakefield on January 1 this year.

Leeds Crown Court heard police were called to the scene of a car crash on Queen Elizabeth Road, Eastmoor, at 10.10am.

A Fiat had been abandoned and the road was blocked by bricks and debris from the crash. Witnesses gave officers a description of two men leaving the scene.

CCTV footage was also recovered which showed the road being showered with debris.

Around 10 minutes later police received a call from a Wright’s girlfriend reporting the vehicle stolen from outside their home.

Officers went to the property and Wright’s girlfriend said the couple had come home 4am that morning but Wright had gone out to another party.

She told them she had noticed the vehicle missing when she awoke. She told officers she had contacted Wright and he had told her to ring the police to tell them it had been taken in a burglary. As she gave her account Wright turned up at the address.

He appeared drunk and was slurring his words. He was arrested and found to be over the drink drive limit. Wright’s DNA was also found on the air bag of the car.

James Littlehayles, mitigating, said Wright, of Frobisher Grove, Lupset, Wakefield, had been to the first party and believed he was below the drink drive limit. He then panicked after the collision as he thought he may have had too much to drink.

Mr Littlehayles said: “Police were aware from the outset that this burglary was unfeasible. Having lied, he was effectively caught up in that lie and could not go back on it.” Describing the incident Judge James Spencer QC said: “It was solely so you could escape the consequences of your drink driving. By doing that you perverted the course of justice.”

Jacqui Oatley.

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