North West Wales

Speeding biker Keith Darch jailed for trying to avoid prosecution

A motorcyclist who did 84mph in a 30mph zone has been jailed for 18 weeks after trying to avoid a speeding offence by claiming he had sold his bike.

Keith Robert Darch, 26, from Abergele, Conwy, admitted perverting the course of justice.

Mold Crown Court sitting in Chester was told he gave false details on a form after he was caught on a speed camera.

He was also given a two-year driving ban for the offence on the B4391 near Bala, Gwynedd, on 12 March 2011.

Judge Philip Richards said only an immediate prison sentence could properly reflect the seriousness of his behaviour.

However, he said it would be reduced to 18 weeks to reflect the guilty plea.

Gareth Parry, prosecuting, told how North Wales Police sent the defendant a Section 172 form asking who was riding his green motorcycle when it was caught on camera.

Darch was the registered keeper, but on 7 April police received the returned form claiming that a man named Gregory Robinson, a false name, had been the rider.

The defendant ticked a box to say that he had sold the machine at the time of the offence.

Police responded by saying that he was still the registered keeper and asked for documents to prove the sale of the bike.

The DVLA received a "new keeper form" for the bike in the false name of Gregory Robinson with an address in Chester.

In June, a Mr Dalgleish bought the motorbike after seeing it for sale on the eBay auction website.

He collected the bike on 8 June from an address in Ellesmere Port where the defendant was living at the time.

Then, a new registration form was received by the DVLA claiming that the bogus Mr Robinson had sold the bike to Mr Dalgleish.

But Mr Parry said police enquiries revealed that the bike had been sold through the eBay account of Darch's girlfriend.

'It was me'

Enquiries with eBay revealed that they both lived at the Ellesmere Port address and the bike had been sold on the day after he was supposed to have sold it to the bogus Mr Robinson.

Police went to the Ellesmere Port address and examined safety helmets in the garage.

They found one had been used by the rider the day it was captured by the speed camera.

The court heard it was then that Darch admitted: "It was me."

Robin Boag, defending, said his client was full of remorse, had acted out of panic, and shot himself in the foot.

After the hearing, GoSafe, the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, said the case should serve as lesson to anyone considering lying to police.

"It is still disappointing to find that people are still going to great, and calculated, lengths to avoid prosecution," said GoSafe manager Jim Moore.

"Those individuals who deliberately attempt to avoid prosecution by dishonest means will be investigated and dealt with robustly."

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