Oswestry man sold car to pay drug debt and then told police it had been stolen


Court reporter

AN OSWESTRY man who lied to police has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Jonathan Blake sold his car to pay off a drug debt and wanted to avoid prosecution for a speeding offence.

But he then told police it had been stolen.

His false report led to a Wrexham man, who was found in possession of the Renault Clio, being arrested and remanded on police bail for several weeks.

At Shrewsbury Crown Court last Tuesday (July 22), Blake was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for a year, after admitting a charge of perverting the course of justice.

In addition the 23-year-old, formerly of Middleton Road, Oswestry, was ordered to complete 80 hours unpaid work.

Judge Peter Barrie also ordered Blake to pay Sean Hardy £800 in compensation - £500 for the loss of the car and some tools, and £300 for having been wrongly detained by the police.

The court heard that Blake’s car had been caught speeding in November, last year and the defendant had sold it to an unnamed man for £280 - without the vehicle’s documents. It was later sold on to Mr Hardy who had paid £350 for the car.

Mr Philip Beardwell, prosecuting, said Blake had reported the car stolen on November 26 and it was traced to an address in Wrexham and Mr Hardy was arrested and bailed.

The car was seized and Blake later received a further £200 when he sold the car for scrap.

However, in February, this year, Blake informed police that he had made the false theft report.

Mr Stephen Scully, for Blake, said his client had not intended to incriminate anyone by his “foolish and thoughtless” actions.

He said Blake had been using cocaine and had a dual motive to make the report - to avoid getting penalty points on his licence and to clear a £300 drug debt.

The court heard that Blake was now living in Blackpool and was about to take over the second-hand furniture business where he has been working for the past six months.

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