Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How Was One Rogue Motorist Able to Amass 49 Penalty Points for 14 Other Drivers?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

How Was One Rogue Motorist Able to Amass 49 Penalty Points for 14 Other Drivers?

Article excerpt

Byline: Sara Nichol Reporter

A POINTS-FOR-POUNDS scam landed 14 rogue motorists in the dock after they paid one man to be the scapegoat for their driving oences.

Gordon Burton agreed to say he was behind the wheel when others were caught speeding, outing a red light, driving without a seatbelt or using a mobile phone in the car.

Police only became suspicious when it was realised the 45-year-old had a staggering 49 points on his licence - the majority of which weren't his.

Usually drivers are banned from the road when they reach 12 penalty points - although, somehow, Burton was able to amass more than four times this before the authorities realised.

But now, six of the group have been jailed and others given suspended sentences after admitting perverting the course of justice charges at Newcastle Crown Court.

Judge Deborah Sherwin said the seriousness of what they had done had been highlighted by the Chris Huhne case.

She told them: "People need to realise that oences of this sort may seem easy and victimless, however, they are viewed seriously by the court. I accept their remorse has been demonstrated. I accept they're isolated incidents, unlikely to be repeated. I also accept that, at the time, it was not appreciated how seriously the court would view this oending."

" Referring to the case of Huhne, who persuaded his partner Vicky Pryce to take his speeding points, the Judge added: "You would come to realise how seriously that court takes matters such as these by Press articles into the case of Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Price in 2013. All these ences pass the custody threshold."

Anthony Dunnen, prosecuting, said the scam took place between 2006 and 2012.

After they were caught outing the rules of the road, the drivers got in touch with Burton, of Walkergate, Newcastle, and he agreed to take their points.

He said: "All of these oences involve Notices of Intended Prosecution. ese are sent when a vehicle is seen or photographed committing a driving oence. "A letter is sent by the relevant police force to the registered keeper of the vehicle and they then have to state whether he or she was driving the vehicle at the time and, if not, then who was."

e court heard, when each of the defendants received their notices, they named Burton as the driver. Mr Dunnen added: "Police began investigating this matter as a result of a large number of occasions they received a Notice of Intended Prosecution naming Burton and a large quantity of documentation relating to Burton between 2006 and 2012 was then reviewed.

"Photos taken by speed cameras also showed Burton was not in fact driving some vehicles at the relevant time.

"There was also one incident where further details emerged from mobile phone exchanges between the defendants Burton, David Tate and Kenneth Walker. …

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