South Wales Police officer's speed fine 'cheat'

Sgt Anthony Rees-Thompson Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Sgt Anthony Rees-Thompson has worked for South Wales Police for a decade

A South Wales Police officer tried to cheat his way out of a speeding ticket by changing his car number plates, a court has heard.

Sgt Anthony Rees-Thompson, 40, of Abercrave, Powys, was allegedly caught by a speed camera doing 35mph in a 30mph zone in Swansea.

But he denied it was him and changed his number plates, Cardiff Crown Court was told.

Sgt Rees-Thompson denies perverting the course of justice.

The court heard he had been driving along Fabian Way on his way to buy tickets for an Ospreys rugby match when he was caught speeding in a car belonging to his stepfather, who was away on holiday.

The trial heard the police officer, who has worked for South Wales Police for 10 years, challenged the fixed penalty notice and was asked to submit photographic proof that it was not the same vehicle.

'Technical error' claim

But the court heard he sent in photographs of the silver Vauxhall Corsa with new plates customised with a blue GB sign and the Welsh flag, bought for £21 online.

He then wrote to the speed camera unit saying there had been a technical error or another similar car was using the same registration number.

Prosecutor Meirion Davies said: "He chose to cheat the legal process with a deliberate deception."

The jury heard the police officer, a father of four, worked in the covert operations management unit at South Wales Police headquarters in Bridgend.

But the prosecution say he forgot that his car was being filmed every day as he drove it into work.

The jury was shown pictures of the car with its old number plate before the speeding offence and the new one allegedly fitted by Sgt Rees-Thompson.

The court was also told that Sgt Rees-Thompson pretended to be his stepfather when he wrote to the speed camera unit trying to avoid a fine and three points on his licence.

The trial continues.