Man jailed after blaming speeding ticket on fictional Frenchman

On 9 May 2018 at Winchester Crown Court, the defendant was sentenced to three counts of doing acts tending to and intended to pervert the course of public justice. He had been convicted after a trial and received three consecutive sentences. In short, he had pretended that a vehicle that could be linked to him had been driven by another person who was a Frenchman named Grevin Musee. The name was the equivalent of the Parisian version of Madame Tussauds and was in fact fictitious. He tried to cover the tracks of his deception when the Police started to investigate and created a second fictitious character that led the Police to the Isle of Lewes in the Hebrides. A second car that he was linked to was caught speeding and he repeated the offence claiming that it was driven again by Mr Musee. He later tried to cover up that second deception with some false documentation (count 3). He was found guilty after a trial.

HHJ Barnett who sentenced him referred to the legal authorities of R. v. Snow [2008] EWCA Crim 580 and R. v. Ratcliffe [2016] EWCA Crim 27. Some principles can be derived from these cases:

  1. Perverting the course of justice is invariably a grave matter because it strikes at the root of the criminal justice system. As such, a deterrent sentence of an immediate custodial sentence is highly likely.
  2. For a single offence, with minimal inconvenience to anyone else or the authorities, a short sentence of 3-4 months can be expected.
  3. Multiple offences, suggesting a sustained period of deception are likely to reach 9-12 months, where there is no inconvenience to any third party but some inconvenience to the authorities in having to investigate matters.
  4. Where a third party has been wrongly accused or worse arrested, then sentences in excess of 12 months can be expected.

For further details of the case as reported in the media, please click here.

 

Mark Ruffell