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Teenage driver lied about collision

26 May 2020

A teenage driver who flipped his car onto its roof, ran from the scene and then lied that it had been stolen has been sentenced.

Alex Hobbs, 19, of Swallowfield, Peterborough even got his friend to hit him in the face with a frying pan to make his claim the car had been stolen in a robbery more believable.

Officers were called to the scene of the collision in David’s Lane, Werrington, just before 2am on 11 May last year.

They found a Ford Fiesta which had struck a lamppost and rolled onto its roof. The occupants of the car had fled the scene.

Enquiries revealed Hobbs was the registered keeper of the car but was not at home when officers called round.

At 8.30am the same day – six and a half hours after the collision – Hobbs called police claiming he had been assaulted and had had his car stolen that same morning.

Officers visited him to take a statement regarding the alleged robbery, but noted that he kept losing concentration.

Hobbs then called his car insurance company and reiterated the claims his car had been stolen.

Officers visited him again later the same day, but on this occasion Hobbs admitted driving his car at the time of the crash, and confirmed the robbery claim was in fact false.

He told the officer that he even got a friend to hit him in the face with a pan to cause injury and make his robbery story more believable.

On 15 May Hobbs called his insurer again, this time reporting he had crashed his car. However, he also claimed he had stayed at the scene and called police before officers returned him home.

Further enquiries were carried out and Hobbs, who has no previous convictions, was sent a postal requisition charging him with perverting the course of justice and fraud by false representation.

He pleaded guilty to fraud and an alternative charge of wasting police time at Cambridge Crown Court on Thursday (21 May).

DC Paddy Reeve, who investigated, said: “Hobbs’ desire to run away from the scene of an accident meant an innocent person could have been arrested for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s merely fortunate that did not happen.

“Getting his friend to deliberately hit him in the face with a pan to cause injuries shows the extent to which Hobbs was willing to go with his lies.

“It’s obvious that Hobbs made the false statements to the police and his insurance company to secure a successful insurance claim. There is never any excuse for this behaviour and for wasting police time in such a way. I’m glad justice caught up with him.”

Hobbs was sentenced to a 12-month community order and ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work.

He was also disqualified from driving for six months.

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