Car crash driver told police car had been stolen in burglary

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A DRINK driver who crashed his car told police his vehicle had been stolen in a house burglary, a court heard.

Martin Hopkinson, aged 25, called police just before 5am on March 11 to report a burglary at his partner’s home in Wharf Lane, Stonegravels, Chesterfield.

Helen Griffiths, prosecuting at Chesterfield Magistrates Court said: “He said his car keys had been removed and his Renault Clio had been stolen.

“Police went there and he said his partner was intoxicated and couldn’t speak to them about the burglary.

“He signed a lengthy statement in which he said he had returned to find the door to the property smashed open and an untidy search had been made inside.

“However, at 5.27am, police received a report the Clio had been involved in a collision in Ashgate Road and was damaged and unoccupied.

Miss Griffiths told the court Hopkinson appeared agitated when the report came in.

She said he began pacing around and officers believed he had been drinking.

“They became suspicious and went upstairs to speak to his partner, who gave a different version of events about where they had been that night,” she said.

“He was then arrested after the police put all the pieces of the jigsaw together.”

Hopkinson, of Walton Road, Chesterfield, failed a breath test.

He told police he had a row with his partner after they’d returned home from a night out together and he decided to risk driving to his parents’ home but lost control of the Clio, which hit a lamp-post.

He walked back to her home and broke in because he did not have a key, and then concocted the burglary story.

Hopkinson admitted drink-driving and wasting police time.

He was given a one year driving ban, £85 costs and ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work.

Phil Bloore, defending, said Hopkinson had panicked following the collision and made up the burglary.

He added: “The wasted police time concerned the taking of the statement. He was actually arrested sooner than he would have been if he had not phoned police.

“He is reconciled with his partner who is five months pregnant and he is very remorseful.”