A ST EVAL man who tried to avoid prosecution for driving offences after crashing his car by giving police his brother's details has been jailed.
Comparing the case of 34-year-old Jeremy Phillips to that involving former MP Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce, Judge Christopher Harvey-Clark said he was being jailed to warn others such conduct would not be tolerated.
At Truro Crown Court on Friday Phillips, of Lancaster Crescent, admitted an act intended to pervert the course of public justice. He had previously admitted driving without due care and attention and without insurance.
Elaine Hobson, for the prosecution, said Phillips was driving a Ford Escort on the B3274 from Padstow to Roche at about 6pm on April 29 last year when he lost control while negotiating a single-lane bridge and skidded 60ft, colliding with some roadside bollards.
A witness called the police, who found Phillips and the car in a nearby car park. When they asked for his details Phillips pretended to be his brother Benjamin. "Of course, Benjamin Phillips knew nothing about this," Ms Hobson said.
"In August he got information that he was to be summonsed to court."
Chris Spencer, for the defence, told the court: "His brother immediately suspected that the defendant was responsible and challenged him about it." The court and police were contacted and the court summons reissued.
Mr Spencer said Benjamin Phillips was "certainly initially annoyed" but the incident caused no long-term breach.
Phillips was the carer for his ten-year-old son, he said.
Sentencing him to 12 weeks in jail, Judge Harvey Clark said the police had believed for four months that Benjamin Phillips was driving the car.
"I have to impose an immediate custodial sentence," he said. "There has to be a deterrent for other people placed in the same position. Giving false information to the police is a serious offence and, as you know so well from the publicity last year, an immediate prison sentence has to follow."
Phillips was also banned from driving for six months and ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.