My brother and I both own identical Suzuki GSXRs, We purchased them a couple of years ago at the same time with the same dealer. They are one digit apart on the registration numbers.
My brother’s bike is a bit of garage queen. He keeps it on a trickle charger and pampers it. In fairness, he is a serving soldier who gets sent to exotic places for quite long periods of time.
I used to ride my bike a lot more, in all weathers; however, over lockdown I put a SORN on it and cancelled the insurance. Neither bike needs an MoT yet as they are too new.
Earlier this year I decided to take my bike for a spin. I didn’t have time to re-insure or tax it, so I took the number plate from my brother’s bike and screwed it onto mine. I knew this was a bit naughty, but I wasn’t intending to be out long. The weather was great and the roads were still quiet.
I got caught speeding by a bike cop with a laser gun, doing 63mph in a 30mph. I shit myself and gave my brother’s details instead of mine, I was hoping he would give me a telling off at the roadside. The bike cop ran some checks and told me he would be reporting me to court. He let me go and I didn’t hear anything for a few months.
I have just received a summons to court for speeding. Well, I haven’t – my brother has. He was away on tour with the military and has come back to the paperwork. He hit the roof and told me to ‘fess up for lying to the copper. He is annoyed that a conviction at court may hurt his military career. I know I have royally screwed up. Help!
Oh dear. Your brother is right to be angry. You could have really hurt his military career. He needs to tell his Officer Commanding (OC) about any pending criminal offences but his OC and Chief Clerk will be able to confirm he was overseas at the time of the offence.
As he has a summons in his name, he need only respond to the charges put to him, namely excess speed. He is quite right to enter a not guilty plea and the issue to be determined by the court is the identity of the rider.
Your brother would do well to forward this information on to the CPS now to avoid the aggravation of a trial. I can see he was posted abroad for six months and had not returned to the UK during that period. He has a rock-solid defence to the charge. It wasn’t
him, he wasn’t in the country, and he has a Major and a Staff Sergeant both confirming he was overseas. However, you are screwed if the police dig a bit deeper – and they will.
You gave all of the correct answers to the copper, had you been your brother; unsurprising really as you know where your brother lives, etc. If the copper had been minded to check the VIN number of the bike, he would have realised it was on false plates and this whole charade would have fallen down then and there.
When the excess speeding charge is dismissed by the court or stopped by the CPS, and it will be as your brother has a solid defence, you can bet your bottom dollar the copper will do some digging. Coppers don’t like being lied to and he will be aware of your brother’s defence. He may not be able to go after you for the speeding offence as it is past the statutory time limit for prosecutions.
This might look good on the face of it but it isn’t. He might look to the CPS for a charging decision for perverting the course of justice. I have checked the CPS guidance on charging decisions and the circumstances of your case fit.
It is therefore more likely than not that the CPS will authorise such a charge. The punishment? Life imprisonment and/or a fine. These charges aren’t reserved for the big headline-grabbing cases (see the case of Chris Huhne and wife Vicky Pryce) so you really need to lawyer up and throw yourself at the mercy of the courts.
The courts really do not like perjurers and that, my unwise friend, is what you are. You’ve turned points and a fine into potential prison time and you have done it deliberately. Not clever. When you go to court, pack a toothbrush. A custodial sentence is almost inevitable unless the bike copper is unusually lazy.
Fast Bikes November 2021