March man given suspended jail term for false car theft claim

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A March man who claimed his sports car had been stolen after his friend crashed it has been given a suspended prison term.

James Hart, 68, of West End, March, pleaded guilty to a charge of perverting the course of justice at a hearing last month.

On Friday, at Cambridge Crown Court, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years.

He was also made the subject of a four month curfew, told to complete 25 days of rehabilitation activity and pay £1,200 in costs.

Following the sentence, PC Matt Smart, of Cambridgeshire Police, said: “We have had other cases where people have falsely claimed their cars have been stolen so I hope this demonstrates how seriously it is treated.”

The case centred around Hart’s Aston Martin Vantage, which he bought for more than £40,000 and allowed a friend to drive on March 4 last year.

Police say the car was later crashed and abandoned on the bank of a dyke near Wisbech, where it was found by officers.

The driver was only covered by third party insurance, meaning he was not covered for the damage caused to the vehicle.

When Hart himself tried to claim, he was told he was not covered. The incident was then reported to police as a theft.

PC Smart added: “Hart has not gone to prison but he will have the prospect of prison hanging over him for two years, as well as the curfew and costs.

“He took a risk and when it went wrong he tried to get out of it by lying. However, there was clear evidence the car had not been stolen.”