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Plymouth women lied to police over speeding points, court told

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: November 30, 2013

Rita McKenna

TWO women lied to the police so one could dodge prosecution after a car was clocked by a speed camera, a court heard.

College lecturer Rita Mckenna, aged 36, allowed 24-year-old Natasha Jasper to take points for speeding when she was not driving the older woman’s car.

Both women had earlier admitted perverting the course of justice.

Judge Advocate Alan Large, sitting at Plymouth Crown Court, did not send the two single mums to jail but instead ordered them to do unpaid work.

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He said the case was a “sorry tale.”

Alistair Verheijen, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said an Audi belonging to McKenna was caught going through a speed camera in Derriford Road on May 9 last year. It was going at 41mph in a 30mph zone.

Mr Verheijen said McKenna was sent a notice of intended prosecution as the registered keeper.

He added at that time she had nine points on her licence and risked disqualification if she was given points for speeding or failing to identify the driver.

Mr Verheijen said Jasper made a declaration that she was at the wheel.

The court heard she was offered a place on a speed awareness course but faced prosecution when she did not take it up.

Mr Verheijen said she then told police she had lied on the form.

Ali Rafati, for McKenna, said she did not accept she was driving the car. He added she was a single mother of two children who managed to balance her family life with working as a lecturer in nails and beauty.

Mr Rafati said she would lose her job without her driving licence.

He added she had no influence or power over Jasper, a former college student.

Nick Lewin, for Jasper, said she had already lost her job. He added if she had not confessed out of “conscience”, the crime would not have been uncovered.

Mr Lewin said McKenna had paid her £80 to cover the course fee.

McKenna, of Langley Crescent, Southway, was handed a four-month prison sentence suspended for two years. She must do 200 hours unpaid work and pay £950 towards the prosecution costs. Mckenna was also banned from driving for six months.

Jasper, of Devonport Road, Stoke, was given a 12-month community order with 100 hours unpaid work and an employment and training course. She must pay costs of £400.

Natalie Hatswell, spokeswoman for the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership, which runs the camera network, said after the hearing: “Miss McKenna can consider herself extremely lucky not to be starting a prison sentence.

“A message needs to go out to the public that these matters will be investigated to their conclusion.”

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