Heathfield man who paid friend £1,000 to take blame for speeding is jailed

A Heathfield man who paid his friend £1,000 to take the blame for speeding has been jailed, police said.

Terry Adams, 49, a butcher, of Burwash Road, Heathfield, was caught travelling at 37mph in the same 30mph zone in Heathfield three times last year, said police.

Terry Adams. Picture: Sussex Police

Terry Adams. Picture: Sussex Police

He was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) following one of the incidents in Hailsham Road on October 28, and he nominated another driver who knew nothing about it.

Previous to this, he nominated his friend Lee Surridge, 51, a butcher, of Bexhill Road, St Leonards, for two speeding offences committed at the same spot on May 15, 2018, said police.

Surridge attended a Speed Awareness Course for one and was given a fine for the other. However, further police enquiries – including photographic evidence – revealed Adams was in fact the driver responsible for all three offences, police said.

It also emerged he had paid Surridge £1,000 to take the blame for two of them, said a police spokesman.

Both men were subsequently arrested on May 20, this year, and taken into custody.

They were both charged with perverting the course of justice and pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court on Friday, August 2.

Adams, was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment for each offence, to run concurrently, police said. He was also disqualified from driving for 17 months and ordered to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Surridge was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment – suspended for 12 months – and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, and pay £500 costs and a £140 victim surcharge. His earlier guilty plea was taken into account on sentencing.

Adams and Surridge are among numerous people to be convicted as part of Operation Pinocchio, which was launched by Sussex Police in 2016 with the following aims:

• To improve safety on Sussex’s roads by tracing and prosecuting offenders who provide false information in an attempt to avoid prosecution;

• To prevent law-abiding motorists, who have been badly advised, from committing serious criminal offences by attempting to avoid speeding or red light offences.

Chris Raynor, of the Sussex Police Camera and Ticket Process Team, said: “This case shows how some people are prepared to avoid their responsibilities for speeding offences at all costs.

“They involve other people in their attempt to avoid prosecution, including nominating innocent people, and have little regard for the problems it causes.”