Northampton

Son and wife of MP Binley sentenced for drink-drive lie

The son and wife of Northampton South MP Brian Binley have been sentenced for lying in a drink-drive case.

At the town's crown court, ex-policeman Matthew Binley, the Conservative MP's son, was jailed for four months.

Jacqueline Binley, the MP's wife, was given eight weeks in jail suspended for two years and 150 hours community work.

Matthew Binley, 27, crashed while two-and-a-half times over the legal alcohol limit. His mother made a statement claiming she was the one driving.

Sober claim

Opening the case at Northampton Crown Court, prosecutor Piers Reed said Matthew Binley had been at a wedding on 22 May and was dropped off by a friend at his flat in Leicester Street, Northampton, at about 2330 GMT.

Shortly after arriving home he decided to go to a nightclub with friends in the town centre and it was on his way home, in the early hours of 23 May, that he crashed his Alfa Romeo into a kerb on Harbour Road and deflated a tyre.

Mr Reed said he called out a breakdown service to his vehicle and the recovery driver realised Binley was drunk and called police, who arrested him on suspicion of driving with excess alcohol.

In a police interview, he claimed the accident had happened while he was on the way to the wedding reception when he was sober, but he returned to his car later on.

The court heard that on 1 August Jacqueline Binley, who is separated from Brian Binley and does not live with him, handed a statement in to police in Northampton claiming she was the driver of the car.

'Casual attitude'

In the statement she said she borrowed her son's car that night then had the crash after she swerved to avoid hitting a fox while her son was in the car, and was then picked up by a passing taxi.

Ben Gow, representing Mrs Binley, said she demonstrated "a misguided loyalty to her son" and was also going through a difficult period in her life after separating from her husband.

Sentencing Matthew Binley, Judge Michael Fowler told him involving his mother in the enterprise to his own benefit showed a lack of respect for her and for the legal system.

He said: "It demonstrates, perhaps, a very casual attitude to the system of justice or a casual attitude as to what may become of your mother."

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