A BMW driver who crashed his £28,000 company car into a lamp-post after a night out has been given a suspended prison sentence for trying to cover up his involvement.
Oliver Graham-Menebhi, 23, abandoned the damaged vehicle on Woodhead Road, Huddersfield, after the early hours collision in August and later telephoned the police to say the BMW had been stolen from the driveway of his home.
Prosecutor Abigail Langford told Bradford Crown Court yesterday that the driver’s airbag had been deployed in the collision and the damaged BMW 320d and lamp post had caused a blockage in the road which led to the attendance of the police at the scene.
Following Graham-Menebhi’s call officers visited his home and he claimed that the BMW had been stolen while he was enjoying a night out.
Miss Langford said it was noted that there was no sign of a forced entry to the property, but the defendant said the keys had been stolen from a kitchen worktop.
During the inquiry Graham-Menebhi provided a written statement about the alleged burglary, but five days later he was challenged by the police about his account and he admitted he had been at the wheel.
Last month Graham-Menebhi, of Joseph Avenue, Northowram, pleaded guilty to charges of perverting the course of justice, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.
The court heard that the defendant had previous speeding offences on his licence and his lawyer Malcolm Nowell said he now faced losing his job if he was disqualified from driving for a lengthy period of time.
Judge John Potter told Graham-Menebhi he was suspending his six-month prison sentence for a year, but he said he had told a deliberate lie to try and cover up what had happened that night.
The judge said Graham-Menebhi acted deliberately in an attempt to avoid being banned and it would be wrong if he was not now disqualified.
The judge imposed a 12-month driving ban on the defendant and said he would also have to comply with an activity requirement and do 150 hours unpaid work as part of the suspended prison sentence.
Graham-Menebhi will also have to pay £535 court costs.