A VAN driver who went to incredibly unusual lengths to try and get out of a speeding ticket has ended up in much bigger trouble.
William Britton, 62, was snapped doing 74mph in a 60mph zone but rather than taking the three points on his license he attempted to disguise his vehicle.
William Britton was caught speeding in his van but tried to evade the ticketCredit: Media Wales
He added eye-catching stripes and decorations to his vehicle but was caught out after an investigationCredit: Media Wales
Britton has now been slapped with a suspended prison sentence, a driving ban and a fineCredit: Media Wales
The motorist tried con his way out of a speeding ticket by adding colourful stripes to his van before submitting a photo to the authorities claiming they had always been there.
But despite going to such lengths to evade the ticket, Britton landed himself in even hotter water, reports Wales Online.
A judge at Swansea Crown Court told the 62-year-old the reality was he was now in a much worse position than he would have been had he accepted the speeding ticket.
His deception was uncovered thanks to an investigation which lasted 300 hours and involved mobile phone movements, automatic number plate recognition cameras, and bank records.
Brian Simpson, prosecuting, said that on February 19 last year a white Ford Transit van was caught on camera doing 72mph on a 60mph stretch of the A40 near Carmarthen, Wales.
A notice of intended prosecution was sent to the registered keeper of the van, Britton, asking for details of the person driving.
Defendant Britton then asked the camera’s operator GoSafe for the picture of the incident and a copy of the photo was sent, a court heard.
But the low-quality image meant it was not possible to identify the person behind the wheel from the snap.
Britton sent four emails asking for better-quality pictures but none were available.
On April 6, Britton emailed the speeding enforcement team raising concerns that his van had been cloned.
And just a week later he sent a photo of his vehicle which had large black stripes on the bonnet, a speed limit sticker, red stripes on the side and a GB suffix on the number plate.
The court heard that authorities became suspicious of these distinctive marks and launched a detailed investigation.
Investigators found Britton’s phone had travelled from his home and back on the day of the speeding offence and had been using a mobile mast near the area shortly after the time he was caught on camera.
They also found he had bought his eye-catching decorations in April after the date of the ticket and found ANPR images of the van from around that time showing it without any of the additions.
After being caught out, Britton previously pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.
The van driver has six previous convictions for six offences but none of a like nature.
The court heard he had three points on his licence at the time he was caught speeding so had he admitted the offence an additional three points would not have led to a loss of licence.
Instead, Britton was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for 12 months and was disqualified from driving for six months.
He was also ordered to pay £500 towards prosecution costs.
Matt Murphy, for Britton, said the defendant was going through a “particularly difficult period of his life” at the time as he cared for his terminally-ill wife.
He said the only explanation for his client’s actions was the “sentimental value” attached to the van – a vehicle which had been purchased for a road trip around the countries of southern Europe long-planned by the couple but never taken.
The court also heard how the defendant has now himself been diagnosed with a potentially serious illness.
Judge Catherine Richards said Britton had engaged in a “planned and prolonged” attempt to deceive the authorities which had resulted in enormous amounts of public money and resources having to be used to investigate it.
She said attempting to pervert the course of justice was always taken seriously by the courts as it was “an affront to criminal justice system”.
And she added that there was a “very strong public interest” in sending those guilty of the offence to prison.
The judge acknowledged Britton had been under considerable emotional strain at the time of the offending due his wife’s illness but she told him: “You did not commit this offence with a view to avoiding disqualification.
“The reality is you are now in a far worse position than you would have have been had you accepted you were guilty of speeding.”
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