Above: Justin Robson’s car with black grill travelling at 52mph in a 30mph zone
A man who claimed his car had been cloned as part of an elaborate scheme to avoid a speeding fine has been jailed.
Justin Robson, of Hertford Close, Congleton, was sentenced to nine months in prison at Chester Crown Court on Thursday 20 December.
The 44-year-old had earlier been found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice and speeding following a four-day trial.
At around 6.45pm on Thursday 3 August 2017 Robson’s BMW X3 was captured driving at 52mph in a 30mph zone on the A34 Manchester Road in Congleton.
As with all speeding offences, a letter was sent to Robson to inform him of the impending prosecution and asking him to confirm who was driving the car at the time of the offence.
Upon receiving his letter Robson emailed police asking for photographic evidence of the offence.
After being sent the images he contacted police again and stated that he believed the car in the images was not his vehicle as his car had a silver grill and not a black one as shown in the photographs.
Justin Robson gave police officers images of his car with a silver grill
Robson also supplied officers with four images showing his car with a silver grill.
He claimed that he believed the vehicle caught speeding was a cloned car using his number plate, which had been stolen during a previous incident.
Upon receiving the information officers began an investigation into his claims and Robson voluntarily attended a police station, where he was interviewed under caution.
During the investigation officers recovered a number of images which showed Robson’s vehicle travelling across Cheshire with a black grill.
After gathering all of the evidence Robson was arrested at his home address in Congleton on Saturday 13 January 2018.
Following his arrest officers searched his home and found a pair of black BMW grills and a number of registration plates with distinctive drill holes matching the black grill.
Black BMW grills were found at Justin Robson’s home
They also discovered a number of open source messages in which Robson admitted that he had been driving the vehicle at the time of the speeding offence.
Within the messages he even stated that he remembered seeing somebody with a speed camera on Manchester Road – but claimed that they were not in uniform so he presumed they were a local homeowner with a camera.
Robson was subsequently charged with speeding and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Following the sentencing, Police Constable Pete Taylor, from the Cheshire Police Taskforce, said: “This has been an extremely complex and lengthy investigation involving a number of police officers from across the force which would have been avoided had Robson admitted his guilt. Instead Robson believed that he was above the law, and thought that by making a few simple alterations to his car he would be able to avoid a conviction.
“However, he underestimated the investigative skills of our officers, and as a result of his actions he is now facing a prison sentence rather than a simple speeding conviction. The sentence handed to him highlights the severity of this offence and shows how seriously it is treated by the courts. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the officers and staff who have been involved in this case for the work they have done in bringing Robson to justice.”