Judge’s blast for woman who thought it ‘funny’ to give police name of dead man to avoid ban

editorial image

A WOMAN who gave police the name of a dead person to avoid a potential driving ban thought the victim’s family would have found it “funny”, a court heard.

Eileen Metcalfe, 55, told the authorities David Hughes had been behind the wheel of her husband’s car when it was clocked doing 36mph in a 30mph zone in Hartlepool.

But Mr Hughes, understood to have been a friend of Metcalfe’s son, died in 2009.

A judge blasted her for her “lack of conscience”.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Metcalfe named Mr Hughes as the driver of the speeding offence in documents sent to her home.

It led to the family of Mr Hughes getting official documents four years after he passed away.

John Gillette, prosecuting, said Metcalfe did it because she wrongly thought she had been the driver of the Ford on May 25 last year.

At the time she had nine penalty points on her licence and feared she would be banned.

But it later turned out her husband Alan, who only had three penalty points had been driving.

The judge, Recorder Graeme Cook, said her lack of understanding about the effect of her crime was “frankly appalling”.

He told Metcalfe: “You seem to have a total lack of conscience, total lack of regard to the offending you carried out, and the effect it might have on the deceased’s family, even to the effect you say the deceased’s family might have found it funny.

“Nobody finds it funny.

“You will also be aware of high profile cases involving MPs and MPs’ wives where immediate custody was appropriate.”

The judge said her comments to the probation service may have made him think twice about giving her a suspended sentence as he earlier indicated.

Metcalfe, pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice on the day she was due to stand trial.

Ian Mullarkey, mitigating, said: “These proceedings have had a significant effect upon her.

“She has been anxious about the outcome for herself and her family, particularly two grandchildren who she has cared for for some years.”

Metcalfe, of West View Road, Hartlepool, was given eight months prison, suspended for two years, and 18 months probation.