A Mirfield man reported his car had been stolen in a burglary after he crashed it while driving without insurance.

Leeds Crown Court heard a witness saw the driver walking away from the BMW3 after it had struck the wall of a bridge in Station Lane, Heckmondwike, on the evening of December 17.

He was holding some bottles of spirits and smoking a cigarette and said he had already contacted the police.

Andrew Horton, prosecuting, said the woman did not believe him and phoned the police herself.

The driver, David Miller did not stay at the scene but walked home and it was after 11pm when he reported the burglary.

He said the keys to his car had been stolen and the car taken. An officer attended and he did not appear to be under the influence of anything and gave a statement about the burglary. He said he had not driven the car for several months since his insurance had been cancelled.

Mr Horton said on December 23 Miller attended Dewsbury police station inquiring about his vehicle and car keys.

The air bag had deployed at the time of the accident and when it was tested Miller’s DNA was found.

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When he was arrested he expressed remorse and said he had been stupid. He said he had been having a bad year and after losing his job could not pay for the insurance. He was on anti-depressants and sometimes slept in the car if he fell out with his partner.

He said when he drove and crashed the car he panicked because he did not want to lose his licence.

The court heard he told a probation officer he had health problems since a works accident several years ago. He worked when he could but when it re-occurred he could not do so and that led to financial problems.

Daniel Smith, representing Miller, said thankfully no one else had been implicated, although he realised he had wasted police time.

Miller, 38 of Old Bank Road, Mirfield admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice and driving without insurance. He was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for two years with 20 rehabilitation activity days and given eight penalty points.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said he had driven deliberately without insurance and then wasted 40 to 50 hours of police time with his story but “with hesitation” was prepared to give him a chance.