Driver jailed after web of lies to escape speeding ticket

Neil Pegg tried to pervert the course of justice to escape a speeding ticket after his car was clocked doing 69mph in a...

Neil Pegg tried to pervert the course of justice to escape a speeding ticket after his car was clocked doing 69mph in a 50mph limit - Credit: CPS

A lying driver has been jailed for dodging a speeding ticket by claiming his car had been cloned.

Classic car collector Neil Pegg invented a series of lies which started when he said the numberplate on his Toyota Celica had been stolen and grew ever more elaborate over a period of six months.

He went on to claim he was at home recovering from a hospital operation and that his car had broken front suspension, even though it had passed its MOT just four days earlier.

A Judge at Exeter Crown Court sentenced him to six months in jail and commended the doggedness of a female police officer who unravelled his web of lies and found phone evidence which proved he was the driver.

Pegg was snapped by a mobile speed camera doing 69mph in a 50mph limit on the A361 in Barnstaple on July 9, 2019. He already had six points on his licence and feared a ban.

He denied being the driver and claimed the front numberplate had been stolen from his car when it was parked outside his home and fitted to an identical vehicle, a practice known as cloning.

He reported his number plate as stolen shortly after he received a notice asking him to identify who was driving the car when it was caught speeding at 10.04am.

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In reality he had been on his way to a day out on a beach near Ilfracombe.

Cleaning supervisor Pegg, aged 58, of Bells Corner, Burrington, near Umberleigh, denied attempting to pervert the course of justice but was found guilty by a jury.

He was jailed for six months by Judge David Evans, who gave a formal commendation to Camera Partnership investigator PC Jane Bickley.

The judge told Pegg: ”Perhaps you thought the initial small lie would work and that would be the end of it. Maybe you did not expect the police to go to the lengths they did to check your story and trace your movements.

“As time passed, you added further untruths, saying your car was unroadworthy because of suspension damage and pretending there had been a MOT test advisory about it.

“You said the numberplate was stolen while you were in hospital and that you could not possibly have driven because you were on medication and asserting you were at home. The movements of your mobile phone showed otherwise.

“You saddled yourself with a wholly unbelievable story and simply would not admit what you had done. Why you persisted in this foolishness, only you may know.”

He told PC Bickley: “It seems to me Mr Pegg was unfortunate the public were fortunate that you were investigating this case. If it was not for the attention you gave to the investigation, and the fine detail you unearthed, he may have got away with it.”

Police were able to establish that his phone was at exactly the same location at the time and that no bus services from his village could have been anywhere near the area.

Pegg told the jury the car in the photograph could not be his because it had front end damage while his Toyota was unmarked. He said he was on heavy medication after an operation at Derriford Hospital and could not drive.

He said friends had taken him to a beach in North Devon at around the time of the speeding offence and this may explain why his phone was on the road.

After the case, Gary Williamson, operations manager for the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership, said he continues to be amazed at the lengths people will go to in order to avoid a speeding ticket.

He added: “In this case Pegg has risked his liberty and a criminal record in order to avoid three points and a £100 fine.

“I really do hope this serves as a warning to others who would seek to pursue a similar course of action.”

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