British Driver Jailed For Ringing Car to Conceal Car Park ScrapeA wealthy, middle-class British man has been jailed for six months after going to extraordinary lengths to conceal a minor accident in a car park.

After discovering that his MOT certificate had expired, Jonathan Lailey, 42, denied that he was the driver of the Alfa Romeo that scraped the bumper of another car in Princesshay Car Park, Exeter in June 2011.

Having been caught on CCTV, Lailey then decided that the best course of action would be to swap the license plate of his car with that of an identical model he also owned and re-register it with the DVLA.

He then unscrewed and changed the vehicle identification number plates in the boots of both cars, while covering the plate underneath the driver’s seat, which he couldn’t prize off, with tar.

Lailey then forged papers to show that he had sold the offending car to a Polish man living in Bristol days before the accident after copying his name and address from a small ad in a local paper.

When the police later came round to call, Lailey, confident in his deception, hid behind the curtains. Not put off by his cunning, the police put a trail on Lailey’s Alfa Romeo and when they pulled him over a few months after the accident, he broke down and confessed everything.

Bemused by the case before him, Judge Phillip Wassall told Lailey this week, “I find myself approaching a state of desperation thinking about this case.” A position, it is safe to say, shared by us all…

By Rebecca Jones
Twitter: @RebeccaEJones

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