Judge’s anger as driver jailed

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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A JUDGE has criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for failing to charge a motorist with driving offences after he struck another car, hit a lamppost and smashed into a wall following a drinking binge - then fled the scene.

Judge Roger Keen QC spoke out as he jailed Michael Gray, aged 28, for six months for perverting the course of justice.

Bev Tait, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court that at 3.15am on December 29, Gray’s car crashed into another vehicle, a wall and a lamppost, damaging two cars and a nearby house.

He left the scene but rang the police the next morning to claim his car had been stolen.

He told police he’d been for a pint with a friend and then driven to another pal’s house and left his car outside. When he returned, he said, the car wasn’t there and the keys had gone.

But forensic tests showed Gray’s DNA on the airbag which had inflated during the collision, and he was arrested.

Andrew Walker, defending, said Gray admitted perverting the course of justice.

But Judge Keen asked in court why Gray hadn’t been charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop and failing to report an accident.

He said: “I want to know in writing. I want the Crown Prosecution Service to let me know within a couple of weeks.”

Sentencing Gray, of North Road, East Dene, Rotherham, he told him: “What you did undermines the whole system of the administration of justice.

“In this case you have got away with it because, for a reason I cannot understand, the Crown Prosecution Service is not prosecuting you for offences of driving which even your own counsel agrees you are guilty of.”

Mr Walker said Gray lived at home with his mother, who had an aneuryism among other health conditions, and he was her main carer.

He had a partner and child but lived with his mother so he could care for her.

Mr Walker said Gray worked for a logistics firm in Rotherham and had been offered a permanent job with the company.

Gray was also banned from driving for a year.